Castleford Tigers refusing to rein in their Super League top-five ambitions

Castleford Tigers coach, Daryl Powell. PIC: Tony Johnson/JPIMedia
Castleford Tigers coach, Daryl Powell. PIC: Tony Johnson/JPIMedia
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BOSS DARYL Powell says it will be an “incredible effort” if Castleford Tigers qualify for the Betfred Super League play-offs.

Despite being ravaged by injury all season, Tigers are sixth in the table, two points outside the play-offs, with two games remaining.

They are at home to fifth-placed Hull, who have an inferior points difference, tomorrow and a win would make them favourites to snatch the final spot.

Powell described this season, his seventh in charge, as a “challenge”, but stressed: “They are the best situations.

“If we can get in the five after the season we’ve had I think it will have been an incredible effort and then you are a couple of games away from doing something special.

“We feel we are capable of doing that, but it comes down to one game really and we’ve got to get this one right otherwise we’re going to be finishing early and we haven’t done that for a fair while.

“We have always been in the mix so we want to be in there again.”

Second place is still not mathematically out of Castleford’s reach but, other than Hull, the teams above them all have a better points difference.

Assessing Tigers’ race with Hull for fifth place, Powell noted: “We’ve both got tough fixtures in our last game – we go away to Wigan and they play St Helens at Hull.

“St Helens will want to win that game because they are having a rest after that.

“I think if we can win [on Thursday] it will go down to the last weekend and that’s what it’s all about, who’s able to hold their nerve and come up with the best performances when it really matters.”

Castleford lost 4-0 at league leaders St Helens last week, after a 24-0 victory away to Huddersfield Giants in their previous game.

Defensively, Powell is confident Tigers are finding their best form at the right time.

“We’ve conceded a total of 10 points over the last three games so that part of our game is just in the right place,” he said.

“We need to do some things better in attacking positions but, after the frustrating season it has been, we are still in a place to get into the top-five, which is credit to the players.”