Castleford boss: League Leaders’ Shield is a big prize

Daryl Powell.
Daryl Powell.

Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell believes that winning the League Leaders’ Shield will be a major achievement if his side can finish top of the Betfred Super League at the end of the Super 8s matches.

Five more points or three if the Tigers beat Leeds Rhinos in the Super 8s will guarantee that the Tigers would finish top of the pile for the first time in their history and Powell thinks the achievement should be given its rightful acclaim.

He said: “It would be one of the biggest achievements if we can win the League Leaders’ Shield.

“I don’t buy into the theory that it’s not valuable, it’s hugely valuable. I think it is actually the biggest prize, but it’s not seen that way in Rugby League at the moment.

“That doesn’t matter to us, we’ve got to keep on chalking up wins and give ourselves a chance to win it.

“For this group of players it would be very special because this club has never achieved it before so it would be the starting point for us.

“I was listening to Hull talking about they’ve won the Challenge Cup and about they want to be seen as one of the elite clubs - and we’re in that bracket.

“We want to be seen as an elite club. We’ve been there or thereabouts for the last three or four years and now we’ve got a great chance to be part of that group.

“What we’ve got to do is make sure it’s consistently happening that way. But this year we have a great opportunity to take it.”

Powell admitted that he could not have imagined that Castleford would be so far clear going into the Super 8s, but he and the players were not thinking the job was already done.

He added: “It is a substantial points benefit to us, but it’s almost put that to one side and don’t think about it too much.

“It’s about winning games now and creating some momentum. You can’t hide away from the fact finishing top for us would be a significant achievement - it has never been done at the club before.

“But then there’s the small matter of the play-off game and the Grand Final. We are in an unbelievable position to have a home game to get to a Grand Final and we’ve been pretty tough to beat here.”