Castleford Tigers: Cas effort over Easter praised by boss Powell

Denny Solomona.
Denny Solomona.
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CASTLEFORD TIGERS can be happy with what they achieved over Easter, according to coach Daryl Powell.

Injury-hit Tigers came out of the holiday period with two points from a possible four, having beaten Leeds Rhinos 18-14 eight days ago, before a 41-22 loss to Catalans Dragons in the south of France on Monday evening.

Powell reckons his team were given the toughest-possible fixtures during the busiest part of the season, but said he was proud of the way the players handled the challenges thrown at them.

“The Catalans game was a little bit frustrating,” Powell conceded.

“But I think we have done well over Easter and I said that to the boys afterwards.”

He added: “We have got to stop making as many errors as we do.

“We made seven in the second half against Catalans and I think that was the difference.

“At one point we were winning the energy and speed battle in the game, but ultimately, it has been good.

“Look at the Leeds game and it was a full house and we did really well – it was a strong performance.

“The patience we showed to win the game was a big step forward. On Monday, that is a tough thing to ask a team to do, to go over there. We lost Matt Cook and then Gadwin Springer so we lost a couple of big men and then we lost Denny Solomona at half-time, so it was tough to manage.

“But overall, I said to the players after the Catalans game I think you’ve done a great job over Easter.

“It has been difficult, but we won one and put a really stiff challenge up against Catalans.

“We could have done a little bit better, but the players worked their backsides off to try and get a result.”

The game played the weekend after Easter is often regarded as the toughest.

Tigers have had to travel to and from Perpignan to contend with on top of the usual bumps and bruises from two games in five days.

And Powell admitted it has been even harder this year than in previous seasons.

“I haven’t been able to rotate our squad,” he said.

“There was hardly anybody I could bring in, particularly in the middle of the field.

“You’re just having to patch the boys up.

“I thought they were good actually, we looked all right physically.

“We didn’t have too much of an issue, we just folded away a bit with errors. But having to go to Catalans on Easter Monday is about as hard as it gets.

“Widnes did it last year – maybe they’ll give one of the ‘big boys’ it next year. That’d be handy.”

Powell will name his initial 19-man squad for Sunday’s visit of Huddersfield Giants this afternoon.

Solomona had a scan yesterday, and Powell said he is “hopeful” that the Tigers’ in-form winger will not be facing a long lay-off.

Matt Cook will return after suspension.