Powell is wary of underdogs Sheffield’s threat

Castleford Tigers coach Daryl Powell will not let his side under-estimate the threat of Sheffield Eagles tomorrow.

Sheffield Eagles head coach Mark Aston with opposite number at Castleford Tigers, Daryl Powell.

In theory, his Super League high-fliers have a gilt-edged chance to reach the Tetley’s Challenge Cup quarter-finals when they host the Championship part-timers.

But Powell knows only too well the quality of Sheffield who have won the last two Championship Grand Finals, including against his Featherstone Rovers side in 2012.

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“I know their coach (Mark Aston) pretty well and a lot of their players,” he said.

“They have had a few changes since last year, but I know the core of their side and I have a lot of respect for the Championship, so we aren’t going to go into it thinking we will just roll them over.

“They have got some strike players and some guys who can be a real threat, but having said that, it is about us. Our focus is on being on our own game.

“We are confident at the moment if we are on our game we will take a bit of beating and we can come out on top on the scoreboard. But if we aren’t, we will find life difficult.

“We can’t just expect things to happen for us. I think it will be a good game and a tough one, but we’re going in with confidence it is one we can win.”

Meanwhile, Powell – who was Sheffield team-mates with Aston when the South Yorkshire club first formed in the early-Eighties – is confident their Super League form will not disintegrate.

Having defeated last season’s beaten Grand Finalists Warrington Wolves at Wheldon Road on Easter Monday, Castleford are sat in second spot after a stunning start.

“People at the moment look at us and think when is the drop off going to come?” said Powell.

“But I don’t see any reason why it should. We are going to have some tough games here and there, when we don’t get it our own way and don’t get the result we want. But the team has responded really well when that has happened so far.”

Powell makes five changes to the sqaud, with Kirk Dixon, Justin Carney, Oliver Holmes, Liam Finn and Ben Reynolds all named, in place of Andy Lynch, Weller Hauraki, Richard Owen, Michael Channing and Dan Fleming.