Why Castleford Tigers boss opposed Super League rule change in 2020

Players could make up to 70 tackles per game under Betfred Super League’s new six-again rule, Castleford Tigers coach Daryl Powell reckons.
Oliver Holmes put in a huge effort for Tigers at St Helens. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.Oliver Holmes put in a huge effort for Tigers at St Helens. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.
Oliver Holmes put in a huge effort for Tigers at St Helens. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.

Oliver Holmes was Tigers’ top tackler during Tigers’ 10-0 defeat by St Helens last weekend, with 51.

Fellow forwards Liam Watts (45), George Griffin (43) and Grant Millington (42) also turned in a huge defensive effort and Jacques O’Neill made 35 tackles as Castleford’s substitute hooker.

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Leading tackler in the game was Saints loose-forward Morgan Knowles, with 57.

George Griffin made 43 tackles in last weekend's game. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.George Griffin made 43 tackles in last weekend's game. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.
George Griffin made 43 tackles in last weekend's game. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.

With no scrums, there are fewer stoppages in play and introduction of tackle restarts, rather than penalties, for some infringements has piled extra pressure on defences.

Powell believes tackle counts will continue to rise and he predicted: “I don’t think it is going to be a big problem at the moment, but I was a big advocate for not bringing it in this season, as a lot of the coaches were.

“We are going to go into October and November and there’s going to be three games a week at times.

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“I think we could get up to 70 tackles in a game from some players and I think that’s going to be a significant issue moving forward.

Liam Watts was also in the thick of the action. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.Liam Watts was also in the thick of the action. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.
Liam Watts was also in the thick of the action. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.

“Most of the coaches were against that, but it is here now and we have to deal with it.”

Tigers had been due to play Hull last Sunday, but that was postponed after several players and staff at the East Yorkshire club tested positive for coronavirus.

Hull KR were then suggested opponents, before the meeting with St Helens was announced on Wednesday afternoon.

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Powell is waiting to hear when Tigers’ Coral Challenge Cup sixth round tie against Hull – originally scheduled for this Saturday – will be played.

It could mean Castleford facing an extra midweek game and Powell warned: “There needs to be some smart thinking done about this.”

He said: “I know it’s not Hull’s fault, but we can’t be hampered with short turnarounds because of this.

“There’s potential to put us under a lot of pressure down the track.

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“We want a straight run of fixtures where we know what we are doing, if at all possible.

“We previewed for three teams last week, so it was certainly an interesting week.”

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