Castleford Tigers: Powell says it’s time for Tigers to toughen up for semi-finals

Castleford Tigers head coach Daryl Powell.'PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe
Castleford Tigers head coach Daryl Powell.'PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe
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BOSS DARYL Powell will be looking for a steely performance from his Castleford Tigers team at Wigan Warriors on Sunday, writes PETER SMITH.

Tigers have nothing to play for in the Betfred Super-8s table, but Powell insists it is an important game and he will not be resting players.

The defending champions still have work to do to secure their top-four place, but could meet Tigers again in either the play-offs or Grand Final.

Powell reckons that means they will be approaching it like a make-or-break fixture and he says Tigers need to get into sudden-death mode themselves.

“They will be wanting to put a marker down and you have always got to front up when you go to play at Wigan,” Powell said.

“Look at what’s happening to them – they have got a bit of impetus, they have won some games after the Challenge Cup and they will be ready for this.

“They will be pretty happy they have got us at this stage and we have got to go there and show we have got some steel about us.

“The next couple of games [Sunday and next Friday at home to Hull] are ideal preparation for the play-off game.

“There’s two approaches at this time of year – rest players or harden yourselves up.

“I think we need to harden ourselves up.”

Tigers have won both their games since securing the league leaders’ shield, but have only hit top gear in patches during the Super-8s.

They led 30-6 at half-time against Leeds Rhinos last week, but were outscored 18-8 in the final 40 minutes.

“I thought we made some poor decisions and they hurt us a bit,” Powell reflected.

“We conceded a couple of soft tries and they never leave a great taste in your mouth when you concede tries like that.

“But take it in context – there was a fair bit of positive play in there we can take out of it, particularly in the first half – and we played some good stuff in the second as well.”