Castleford aim to turn round run of defeats against Saints

Daryl Clark, whose battle with opposite number James Roby is set to be a highlight in Castleford Tigers' play-off at St Helens. Picture: Andy May

Daryl Clark, whose battle with opposite number James Roby is set to be a highlight in Castleford Tigers' play-off at St Helens. Picture: Andy May

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Castleford Tigers’ poor record in away games against St Helens will count for little when the two sides clash in the Super League play-off qualification game on Friday night, according to head coach Daryl Powell.

The Tigers have not won at St Helens in the summer era, their last away win against them being way back in December, 1992 in the Regal Trophy.

They have run Saints close on several occasions, but have lost their last 13 meetings with them with their last win being 30-24 at The Jungle on April 6, 2008.

The omens are certainly not good as Cas head over the Pennines to face the team that pipped them for the league leaders’ shield, but Tigers boss Powell believes it is all about what happens now not what has happened in history.

He told the Express: “It’s always tough going over there and we’ve not got a great record at their ground, but history doesn’t dictate what happens next and it’s up to us to just go there, perform as well as we can and give ourselves a chance.

“It’s another big prize as we would be within one more win of a place in the Grand Final.

“It would be outstanding to win with another prize being to give ourselves a week off. All the top four teams will hold that in high regard I would have thought.

“They have a couple of injuries and have Alex Walmsley suspended. So you look at it and think that if we can play as well as we can we give ourselves a real chance.”

Powell is not underestimating how good St Helens are even without several of their first teamers.

He added: “They’ve still got outstanding players across pretty much every position, but we gave them a good game at Castleford earlier in the season and should have beaten them and it’s about us making sure we deliver again.

“We are aware that they have some real threats in their team.

“I thought James Roby was world class, or out of this world last week so we are going to have to be at our best to beat them because they are still an excellent side even with a number of players missing.

“Roby and Daryl Clark for us have been the two form hookers in the comp and it will be worth the admission money alone to see those two go head to head.

“Saints have other key men like Paul Wellens, who is such a competitor who drives them from wherever he’s playing. He’ll probably be at full-back this week.

“Their pack is exceptionally big, you look all the way through it with Masoe and people like that. There’s Willie Manu with his footwork and his strength, Soliola is a really big back rower and Kyle Amor is really strong, so they’ve got a really great pack and they’ve got people like Turner and Makinson in the backs who can really finish things off well.

“They’ve obviously had a few injuries, but I still think they’re very dangerous.”