Castleford aiming to create more magic

Castleford Tigers players celebrate a try against Leeds at Headingley.
Castleford Tigers players celebrate a try against Leeds at Headingley.

Castleford Tigers are looking to put the record straight on Saturday when they head to Newcastle for the Magic Weekend.

Daryl Powell’s men gave one of their poorest displays of the season when they were hammered 56-12 by Warrington Wolves back in March, but after creating their own “magic weekend” with a memorable win over Leeds Rhinos at Headingley the Tigers are confident they can give a good showing against the league leaders this time.

Head coach Powell told the Express: “It’s been a good couple of weeks for us when we have shown what we can do and confidence is building.

“But the challenge is going to be a fair bit tougher against Warrington. We played them earlier in the season and they put the cleaners through us.

“They were really, really hot that night and we were disappointed with our performance so we’ve got the record to set straight if we can.

“We know it will be difficult, we’ve just got to keep improving as a team and give ourselves a chance.

“We played against Leeds with a lot of confidence, but that came from the Salford game. Some really good things we did there gave us a platform to go on and play really well against Leeds.

“We really need to mix that confidence in with a little bit of feet on the ground and not getting too carried away with ourselves.”

Cas head for rugby league’s showpiece event off the back of a brilliant all-round display that brought a 52-12 victory over Leeds and Powell is hoping to reward the players by picking the same 17 if he can.

He said: “It was a big win for us, performance-wise and obviously result-wise and we’re really pleased.

“We’ve got some big challenges ahead and we need to front up on all fronts, but I’m definitely pleased with what we’ve delivered over the last couple of weeks.

“The Leeds performance was excellent. Our attack was really good and the defensive side of our game is improving all the time. We’ve conceded an average of 15 points over the last couple of games and that’s clearly a big improvement.

“On attack there was some class about us at the weekend, which was great to see. We’ve lacked a bit of fluency in our game, but that sort of disappeared at Leeds. We looked sharp and getting players back in key positions really helped us with that.

“Luke Dorn coming back in after so long out and performing as well as he did pulled our game together.

“Luke Gale, who was instrumental in a lot of our good work, and Junior Moors, who’s come back in such excellent form in the last few weeks, were real stand-outs for us.

“Denny (Solomona) continues to score tries and I thought Joel Monaghan was really good. But you could have picked anybody. Mike McMeeken in our pack was awesome.

“The stand-in half-backs, Paul McShane and Adam Milner, again did a really good job.”

Powell added: “You wouldn’t want to make too many changes to a team that did what it did last week. But Lee Jewitt’s struggling a little bit with his knee and we’ll see how he is later in the week. Hopefully he won’t be too bad, but I won’t know until Thursday, Friday.

“There were a few bumps and bruises like there usually is, but no more injuries from last week. Nathan Massey is fine. He came though okay after dislocating his knee. He’s a tough kid isn’t he?”

Powell revealed that half-back Ben Roberts could be back in contention soon after returning to training this week.