CASTLEFORD TIGERS’ 18-0 win over Featherstone Rovers in the sides’ opening pre-season game left both coaches confident they are heading in the right direction.
“They are always a little bit scratchy those games,” Tigers boss Daryl Powell reflected. “It’s your first hit-out after a fair stint of pre-season, so we are pretty happy to not concede any points and I thought we rarely looked in any trouble.
“We defended pretty well and once we stopped giving penalties away in the second half, we applied a little bit of pressure.
“We have got loads we need to improve on in the fluency of our game, but ultimately it’s job done.
“It’s a good win for us. It was important we won the game, it was pretty tight for long periods and Featherstone were very good and difficult to break down.”
Powell was pleased with new signings Matt Cook and Denny Solomona, but highlighted Nathan Massey as Tigers’ outstanding player.
Tigers came through with no major injury concerns, but academy player Ash Robson, who had been due to start at full-back, missed out due to a broken thumb suffered in training.
Featherstone’s Ian Hardman (wrist) and Liam Walmsley (head) sustained knocks, but coach Andy Hay said neither injury was serious: “I thought we did all right. We haven’t done a lot of (work on) attack, but we defended well and there was some good attitude shown by the players. They had a real good dig.
“It looks like we’ve got a little bit of work to do on our structured defence, but we’ll get the ball in hand now and do a fair bit of work on our attack. I thought the signs were good and it was positive that they all put their hand up and had a go.”
Hay singled out Jamie Cording, Jack Bussey Matt James, Nathan Chappell and Jordan Baldwinson for praise, along with Kyran Johnson.