Daryl Powell: Castleford deserve more credit

Rugby League
Daryl Powell
Daryl Powell

Daryl Powell believes Castleford are not getting the credit they deserve as they continue to push for a return to Old Trafford.

The Tigers reached the Grand Final last year after finishing 10 points clear at the top to claim their first League Leaders' Shield.

Castleford have failed to hit the heights of 2017 - when they scored almost 1,000 points - this season but they moved up to third courtesy of last week's nervy win over Wigan, and Powell is delighted with his injury-hit team.

"Everyone's talked about Warrington this year and how fantastic they're going and Wigan and how great they are and no-one has really spoken about us and we're in the mix," Powell said.

"We've beaten Wigan and Warrington with a depleted squad and it's awesome where we're at. It's credit to everyone at the club, the character that has been shown. We've had a lot of expectation on us this year based on what happened last year and we've had to work hard to manoeuvre the team around. We've shown a lot of belief and confidence that anyone who comes into the team will do a job for us.

"We want to be in there winning week after week. I think if we can stay consistent over these next five games, then going into the split we should be in a great position."

Powell's men face another tough assignment on Saturday in the form of the resurgent Catalans Dragons in the south of France.

The Dragons have won four of their last five games to give themselves real hope of avoiding another scrap for survival in the Qualifiers.

"Catalans are generally a better team when they play at home," Powell said. "They are a physical challenge - their pack is big - and they have some really experienced players in their team.

"They are playing with confidence and winning games at the moment and they will see Saturday as an opportunity to push themselves up the ladder before the Super 8s split so we will be ready for a real tough challenge."

Catalans head coach Steve McNamara has warned his team not to expect favours from other teams with the battle to avoid the bottom four set to go down to the wire.

"We've just got to win some more ourselves," McNamara said following last week's win at Leeds. We're on track. One got away from us last Friday night (against Huddersfield) and I'm really pleased with how we responded. We have to go again. We've got a very tough game against Castleford next up.

"You just don't know how many points you need. If you think you might need that many you can end up coming unstuck so we've got to keep winning games and hopefully we make the top eight. If we do that this club can really push forward."

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