Castleford Tigers v Wigan Warriors: Daryl Powell thrilled by post-Wembley revival

Castleford Tigers' post-Wembley resurgence has delighted - but not surprised - coach Daryl Powell.

By Peter Smith
Sunday, 29th August 2021, 4:45 pm

Victory at home to Wigan Warriors tomorrow (Monday) would see Tigers climb a place in Betfred Super League and they could go as high as fourth if that is coupled with defeat for Leeds Rhinos at Wakefield Trinity.

After their Challenge Cup loss to St Helens on July 17, Tigers were eighth and had won only one of their previous seven league matches.

A weakened side were beaten in their first post-Wembley game, but since then Tigers have won four in succession, three of those away to teams in play-offs contention.

Danny Richardson on the ball for Tigers at Hull. Picture by John Clifton/

“I always felt if we could get close to our best team on the field we are fine, we’ve got everything in place,” Powell reflected.

“We’ve got the structure to do what we need to do and defensively, I think we’ve got what we need.

“It just needed us to have some consistency of the personnel we could select and at the moment I am leaving people out, whether that’s because I’m resting them or saying ‘that’s not quite good enough, someone’s playing a bit better than you’. It makes a huge difference if you can do that.”

But Powell added: “Having said that, it is tough coming out of Wembley and getting yourself back tuned in and the boys have done an exceptional job.

“If you come and watch us train at the moment, they are buzzing, they are enjoying what they are doing.

“I have stepped back a little bit; there are times in coaching when less is more, you take your hands off the wheel a bit and let the boys do the job they need to do.

“We still do our work, obviously, but they’ve grabbed hold of it and been class.”

Danny Richardson has typified Tigers’ revival, producing a string of commanding performances after being left out of the Cup final side.

“It is pleasing to see players respond to tough situations,” Powell stated.

“He has done exceptionally well, he is playing great.

“He has got his confidence and his voice back and he’s kicking the ball well - he has been outstanding the last three or four weeks.”

In contrast, Wigan are in danger of dropping out of the top-six and haven’t scored a try in their last two and a half games.

“They are under a bit of pressure, you can see that,” Powell said. “But that makes them dangerous I think.

“How they respond is down to them, all we can do is look after ourselves and it’s about how we are going to play and what we’re going to deliver.

“That’s the key thing for us. If we can maintain some consistency in terms of the effort and have a bit more accuracy and clarity in good attacking positions, we are dangerous ourselves.”

Man of Steel Paul McShane will miss tomorrow's game with the abdominal injury he suffered at Hull, but captain Michael Shenton has recovered from a fractured cheekbone and returns to Tigers’ squad.

Sam Halsall and Brad O’Neill are back in contention for Wigan.

Castleford Tigers: from Evalds, Olpherts, Matautia, Shenton, Richardson, Watts, Millington, Holmes, Blair, Milner, Massey, Griffin, Foster, Hepi, Sene-Lefao, D Smith, Eden, Matagi, Turner, O’Brien, Qareqare.

Wigan Warriors: from Hardaker, Gildart, Marshall, Field, Singleton, Bullock, Farrell, Bateman, Partington, Smithies, Byrne, H Smith, Havard, Bibby, Clark, Shorrocks, Pearce-Paul, Halsall, Hastings, Bourouh, O’Neill.

Referee: James Child (Dewsbury).

Kick-off: Monday, 5pm.

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