Castleford Tigers coach Daryl Powell blasts squad naming rules after Super League loss to Hull FC
Castleford Tigers coach Daryl Powell has slammed the RFL’s rules around naming matchday squads as a “sham”.
Tigers were penalised one interchange during their 30-12 home loss to Hull in Betfred Super League because debutant winger Jason Qareqare was drafted into the starting lineup after not being named in Powell’s initial 21.
That rule was introduced last season, but then suspended temporarily because of Covid, to avoid coaches making changes to a named squad.
Previously, clubs were required to name 19 players two days before a game, but could make changes on medical grounds.
Both teams were backing up from a Challenge Cup semi-final five days earlier and Powell fumed: “The RFL reduced us a sub because we brought [Qareqare] in from outside the 21, which I think is a sham.
“It’s absolutely terrible. I don’t get 21-man squads anyway but to take a sub off us [on Thursday] was appalling.”
Powell described the game as “slow and painful” and added: “It was hard for both teams.
“I’d like to question the understanding of five-day turnarounds, which both teams have had to do.
“What a player has to go through on a five-day turnaround, I think is too difficult.
“We lost both our pivots and full-back from the semi which then moved our nine to half-back and most teams would struggle with that.”
Powell revealed: “Three players pulled out of our team run [the day before the game], which is a regular occurrence at the moment.
“Obviously, the boys are creaking, they are just creaking.”
Qareqare, 17, did not train with the team before the game, but scored with his first touch, after 44 seconds and was the shining light for Powell.
He said: “It was an unbelievable first touch for him.
“Get in - I was really pleased about that and made up for him, I thought he was great.
“For a young bloke to make his debut and then do that with his first touch was fantastic. “There wasn’t a lot to cheer about with our game and the game as a whole was a really low quality affair, but that was worth getting on your feet.
“He’s still at school and he trains with us in school holidays and at weekends at times and he’s just always been accomplished in what he has done.
“He’s a mature young fella.”
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