Castleford Tigers coach Daryl Powell irked by Super League’s final-round format

Castleford Tigers coach, Daryl Powell. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe/JPIMedia
Castleford Tigers coach, Daryl Powell. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe/JPIMedia
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CASTLEFORD TIGERS boss Daryl Powell reckons Betfred Super League should have a policy of staging final-round fixtures at the same time.

Five of this weekend’s six matches will kick off at 7.45pm on Friday, but Tigers visit Wigan Warriors 24 hours earlier.

Finding his feet. Castleford Tigers cenre, Cheyse Blair. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe/JPIMedia

Finding his feet. Castleford Tigers cenre, Cheyse Blair. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe/JPIMedia

That means Hull, chasing Castleford for fifth spot, and Warrington Wolves, who could overhaul Wigan to finish second, will know what they need to do when they face St Helens and Leeds Rhinos respectively.

“I don’t think it’s great, to be honest,” Powell said of playing at a different time to Hull who are level on points with Tigers, but have a vastly inferior for and against.

“If you are going to put all the relegation games on the same day, is the play-offs not as important?

“I think they should have done, that makes it fair for both teams, but it is what it is. We have just got to go and do our job and not think about getting a favour from anywhere.”

Powell warned “It is going to be tough because Wigan are playing well and are winning games consistently. They are always good at home and difficult to beat there.

“We have got to win the game and not worry about anything on the peripheries, but I think it could have been done a little bit better.”

The challenge does not scare Powell whose side thrashed Hull 44-12 last week. He insisted: “Our mentality is great at the minute; you can see we are in a good place. Our attacking game is coming together again and we are defending okay. It is up to us, really – and we can’t go and put in anything less than a quality performance.”

A key player for Tigers could be mid-season signing Cheyse Blair who scored his first try for the club last week.

“He has taken a bit of a while to adapt,” Powell said of the Australian back. “I think he has been playing okay, but the last two weeks he has played really well. He looks strong, he is getting used to the competition and we are working hard to develop him as an all-round centre. When he came he felt he could improve his attacking play and I agree with that.

“We have been working hard with him to get better and there has been some real good signs in the last few weeks.”