Castleford Tigers take opportunity to turn up the tempo

Castleford Tigers head coach Daryl Powell. 'PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe
Castleford Tigers head coach Daryl Powell. 'PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

THE LEAGUE leaders’ shield is already in the trophy cabinet, but Castleford Tigers’ next four games are far from meaningless as far as coach Daryl Powell is concerned.

Powell insisted Tigers’ remaining fixtures before the Betfred Super-8s semi-finals – beginning at Huddersfield Giants on Friday – are all about building momentum for the games which will define their season.

“We have changed our training a bit, just trying to create some more intensity in what we’re doing,” Powell revealed.

“We are only doing short sessions, but there’s an edge to what we are doing, putting ourselves under a bit more pressure and that has been going well.

“We have had a good season and there’s a lot of confidence about us, but we know we will be challenged in these last four games before we come to play-offs’ time and we are trying to create some momentum.

“We don’t want to sit back and allow our form to dip. There’ll be a few players who haven’t played as much recently who’ll get an opportunity to put their names forward to be in the team when it really matters at the end of the season, but we want to keep going and keep playing well.

“We have got five, hopefully six, games left. We are right at the end now and I don’t see any point in dropping off.”

Castleford have had two weeks to celebrate being top of the table and Powell insisted all their focus is now on reaching – and winning – October’s Grand Final.

“Old Trafford is a pretty special place to play and we want to be a part of that,” he added. “To be able to do that we have got to finish our season off well. There’s some teams who are coming into a bit of form and are going to challenge us. We are mindful of that, but ultimately we know it is about us and making sure we are where we want to be.”

Tigers were without a game last weekend and Powell said: “It has freshened us up, I think. We had a couple of days in Newcastle last week, training in camp, which I thought was pretty good for us.

“We have trained well this week and looked pretty sharp. You want to be involved in the Challenge Cup final, but if you are not it probably does benefit you in some ways after such a long season.”