Daryl Powell believes Castleford Tigers are piling too much pressure on themselves as they aim to secure a play-off place.
The Tigers moved back into the top five with a 20-6 win over London Broncos last night but made life difficult against Super League’s bottom side.
London took the lead courtesy of new boy Brock Lamb’s converted try and held a narrow advantage at the break despite Tuoyo Egodo’s finish out wide.
Whatever Daryl Powell said at half-time had the desired effect as the Tigers awoke from their slumber to go 14-6 in front thanks to tries from Oliver Holmes and Jacques O’Neill, his first in Super League.
Former Broncos winger Egodo completed a double to make sure of the win, leaving London two points adrift of their relegation rivals with four games remaining.
The Tigers have struggled for consistency all year and Powell may have identified the issue.
“We just need to relax and find a way of enjoying ourselves on the field because we’re certainly not at the moment,” he said.
“We played on a Saturday night, the crowd was low and it wasn’t a great atmosphere. We certainly didn’t help that.
“Overall we’ve just got to find some energy and a way of enjoying ourselves on the field again. I think that’d really help us.
“We let ourselves down against Hull KR and I went after that a little bit which I don’t think helped through the week.
“It’s tight there and we’ve got a tough run-in. I can see why players are a little bit nervous.
“I think I need to relax a little bit and they need to relax a little bit and see where it gets us.”
It was a fifth defeat in six games for London and a result that left them two points adrift of their relegation rivals with time running out.
But Broncos head coach Danny Ward saw enough from his team to suggest they will get the points they need to survive from their final four fixtures.
“I’m obviously disappointed with the result,” he said.
“We put ourselves in a good position at half-time and it just got away from us in a 10-to-15-minute period in that second half. They ramped it up a little bit and came down our edges with some tempo and scored a couple of tries.
“With our errors and the penalties we gave away we just gave ourselves too much to do against a very good side in Cas. But we showed enough fight, resilience and toughness to leave the place quite happy, knowing that we’re in a decent spot and we’ll be all right.”
Castleford Tigers: Rankin; Clare, Mata’utia, Blair, Egodo; Trueman, Ellis; Clarkson, McShane, Millington, Holmes, McMeeken, Massey. Subs: Sene-Lefao, Maher, O’Neill, Smith.
London Broncos: Walker; Dixon, Fleming, Kear, Williams; Abdull, Lamb; Mason, Cunningham, Butler, Pitts, Adebiyi, Yates. Subs: Battye, Ioane, Fozard, Krasniqi.
Referee: Scott Mikalauskas (RFL).