Castleford Tigers: Powell plotting to keep Saints danger man Barba under wraps
CASTLEFORD TIGERS' chances of defeating Betfred Super League leaders St Helens tomorrow could depend on how they deal with superstar full-back Ben Barba.
The Australian scored a hat-trick of tries in Saints’ 36-18 Ladbrokes Challenge Cup win at Castleford two weeks ago and a brace when Tigers were beaten 46-6 in the opening game of the season.
“He got some broken-field opportunities and, if you give him them, he’s the best I’ve seen for a long time in terms of taking advantage of them,” Tigers head coach Daryl Powell reflected.
“The key is to not give him those opportunities where the game’s fast and he can just pick a ball up with a retreating defence and have a lot of space to run into.
“If you give him those opportunities you are in trouble. You’ve got to keep control of where you finish your sets.”
Powell is also hoping for better fortune than in the Cup tie. He added: “I thought we did a good job in shutting him down in large parts, particularly in the first half and I thought we were unlucky. They had the bounce of the ball a bit and when they are playing as hot as they are you need an even share of the luck I would say.”
Joe Wardle and Jake Webster have dropped out from the Tigers team which hammered Leeds Rhinos last weekend, but Ben Roberts could return after injury and James Green is also in contention.