Powell: Widnes pitch had nothing to do with our performance

Michael Shenton, scored a try in vain for Castleford Tigers at Widnes.
Michael Shenton, scored a try in vain for Castleford Tigers at Widnes.

Widnes Vikings’ notorious artificial pitch was not the reason for Castleford Tigers’ poor performance in last Sunday’s Super League game, according to head coach Daryl Powell.

The Tigers failed to match the defensive intensity of their previous two games against Warrington Wolves and Hull KR and conceded eight tries to crash to their heaviest defeat of the season - and their biggest ever defeat in the league to Widnes.

But Cas boss Powell believes the blame for the 46-16 loss could not be put on a hatred of playing on a pitch that has proved unpopular with many visiting teams.

He said: “I don’t think the pitch had anything to do with the performance.

“We’ve been there twice while I’ve been at the club and won there both times.

“It’s not been a major issue. If it is for some players then they’ve got a grip of that.

“It’s not something that should play a part.

“You have to play on different pitches, whether they are heavy or really firm at different parts of the season. This is slightly different and the only pitch of its kind in our competition, but ultimately it’s a game of rugby league and we should put things like that out of our mind and just get on with it.

“Clearly having nine players injured, some of them significant and important players to us didn’t help. But I wouldn’t use that as an excuse at all. We’ve got a good squad and I trust the squad to do the job whenever they are playing.

“They clearly wanted to win the game more than us for whatever reason.

“They’d had a tough Easter and we’d had a pretty good one and motivation wise they came up with more.

“It’s very disappointing to me that we weren’t motivated to win the game. Obviously it’s a big part of my job and it’s disappointing the whole thing. They were just a completely better side than us on the day.

“You look at the players man for man there’s not that much difference, so it’s pretty disappointing.”