CASTLEFORD Tigers coach Daryl Powell believes his side can challenge anyone after they produced a stunning 31-24 win at Super League leaders Leeds Rhinos last night.
The Tigers were sublime as they raced into an 18-0 lead inside just 15 minutes at Headingley.
The hosts hit back and levelled at 24-24 in the 70th minute after terrific pressure in the second period only for Castleford’s Liam Finn to slot a drop goal soon after before Denny Solomona struck with his second try.
“I was only ever relieved when the hooter went,” said Powell, who secured his first win at Leeds since leaving them in 2003.
“It was an edgy victory but a big one. Any is at Headingley.
“We got off to an unbelievable start to be 18-0 up and we’ve done that three games on the spin now – rattled the opposition and then they’ve got a bit of a foothold and we’ve struggled.
“I’d like to see us have a bit more control of games at times, but the reality is teams like Leeds are going to put you under a lot of pressure and score some points.
“That’s the nature of the way they go about the game. This was about guts, determination and a bit of composure at the end – and a bit of belief.
“We’re getting some belief we can go to places and win and once we get a few more players back there’s no reason why we can’t challenge anybody.”
It was the first time Castleford had produced three successive wins this year, a first at Headingley since 2010 and the victory moves them up to fourth.
Leeds coach Brian McDermott had no excuses for his side, who have won just two of their last seven league games since going six points clear at the top of Super League on April 17.
St Helens could overtake them with victory over Wigan Warriors tonight.
“I know we had some momentum for the final 25 minutes of the first half, but I didn’t think we were every convincing throughout it all, especially defensively,” he said.
Match report: Page 19.