Daryl Powell: Departing boss will 'always love Castleford Tigers' despite impending move to Warrington Wolves
Departing boss Daryl Powell says he will “always love” Castleford Tigers.
Thursday’s 40-24 home defeat by Warrington Wolves ended Tigers’ season and Powell’s nine-season reign as coach.
Thursday’s 40-24 defeat ended Tigers’ season and Powell’s reign as coach.
Thousands of fans stayed behind after the final whistle as Powell and Tigers’ departing players said farewell.
“It was a great send off for players and coaches who have given a lot of effort and commitment and sacrifice to the club,” Powell said.
“Shenny and Millo [Michael Shenton and Grant Millington] have been stalwarts for the club and there’s others who’ve given a lot for three, four or five years.
“You have got to take your hat off to them.”
Shenton was unable to end his career on the field, after suffering a dislocated shoulder late in the first half and Powell admitted: “It’s so disappointing for him, to not be able to finish how he wanted to.”
The next time Powell is involved in a game at the Jungle, it will be as coach of Warrington.
Powell insisted: “I will always love this place.
“I have been here so long and I was a supporter of the club, but that’s professional sport.
“You move to different places and when I go back I’d expect a good reception.
“I don’t see why I wouldn’t [get one].
“The fans will want their team to win, but you still recognise the people who’ve given a lot to your organisation should be respected.
“We will wait and see, but hopefully that’ll be the case.”
Tigers trailed 32-0 with half an hour of Thursday’s must-win game remaining, but hit back to cut the gap to just eight points before Warrington halted the fightback.
The result means Castleford finished seventh in the table, one place outside the play-offs.
Reflecting on Tigers’ performance, Powell said: “I thought their first couple of tries were soft defensively.
“They had a little bit of luck with the next two, with the bounces of the ball and we were chasing the game then, which was always going to be difficult.
“I said to the boys at half-time we’ve just got to find it within ourselves to get back into the game.
“We gave another breakaway try away and if you look at the tries they scored, I thought they played well early on, but we gave too much away, then we had to play like we did.
“There’s only so long you can play like that, when you are throwing everything at a team, but I thought we were class then and we showed what we are about.”
Powell felt Warrington “finished the game really professionally”.
But he added: “I was so proud of the second half effort.
“If we had been anywhere close to that for the whole game, we would have taken some beating.
“Ultimately, it was a close game and we battled hard to get back into it.
“That was a great effort.”