Castleford boss expects big challenge from hard working Widnes

Daryl Powell.
Daryl Powell.

Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell expects his in-form side to be challenged by Widnes Vikings when the teams meet at the Select Security Stadium on Sunday.

The Tigers are flying with three wins out of three while Widnes are yet to celebrate victory in any of their three matches, but Powell has seen enough from them to say it will be far from an easy game ahead for his team.

He told the Express: “I’m expecting a fast game. The surface is a fast one and I think it will be a tough game.

“They nearly beat Wigan there a couple of weeks back and they fought their way to a draw against Catalans away in really difficult conditions.

“They’ve lost a few troops, obviously Kevin Brown, but they are still a good side and they are fighting hard.

“They’ve put Bridge in the halves and he’s got a lot of experience, with Craven. Armstrong in the centres is playing really well with Runciman, Ah Van is good on the wing – they are just a really hard working side who will be a real challenge for us on a pitch that they are used to.

“We’re not worried about playing on their pitch. We’ve trained on a similar surface all pre-season at Cas High, which is a great facility, so we’ve got experience of being on the artificial. We’ll train on it twice this week, which will acclimatise us towards it and we had a great training session on it on Tuesday.”

With no injuries from last week’s game against Leeds, Powell may go with the same side, but he will decide during the week whether to bring back Rangi Chase, who is available again after his internal suspension.

He added: “Obviously the team played so well against Leeds so it will be a similar side. I might make one decision later in the week, but we’ll see.

“Paul McShane did a good job at half-back last week, he’s a good player isn’t he?

“He’s filled in at half-back a few times for us and I just think he’s a genuine half-back. His kicking game’s a little bit different as he’s used to kicking out of dummy-half, but I thought he was composed against Leeds and creative and smart with what he did.

He’s given me a nice selection decision to make and you are not going to change too much when you play that well.”