Castleford Tigers: Powell disappointment at Challenge Cup defeat

Daryl Powel and his Tigers at full time.

Daryl Powel and his Tigers at full time.

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Castleford Tigers coach Daryl Powell conceded his team were not quite good enough on the day as they lost the Challenge Cup final to Leeds Rhinos at Wembley.

Powell was a member of that 1999 Leeds side but was on the other side of the fence on Saturday, plotting their downfall as Castleford coach.

The boyhood Cas fan was unable to stop his old employers earning the win, though, admitting that his men were just not good enough on the day.

Much was made of the lack of big-game experience in the Tigers side ahead of kick-off, but Powell thought Leeds were simply too quick and too cohesive.

“We recognised there was a challenge laid down in the first half by Leeds that we didn’t go with particularly well,” he said.

“We did show courage, determination, but we were never quite good enough to score enough points to put Leeds under the intense pressure we needed to.

“The first half was disappointing. Leeds were very good, their kicking game excellent, they challenged us is certain areas of the field and our response was never really good enough.”

Castleford have been one of the stand-out teams of the season and remain firmly in the thick of a battle to win the Super League title.

It is not inconceivable that they could meet Leeds again at Old Trafford in October and Powell is keen to make sure that his men learn the lessons of this big-stage loss.

‘The feedback from them is that the preparation was great so we need to see what the reasons were that we didn’t deliver,” he added.

“We needed to see why, as a group, did we not deliver our best performance. Our best performance would have made it a tight game. We have to learn.”

Luke Gale

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