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Castleford boss: We need to be more durable against top teams

Junior Moors gets an offload away for Castleford Tigers against St Helens. Picture: Tony Johnson.
Junior Moors gets an offload away for Castleford Tigers against St Helens. Picture: Tony Johnson.

Daryl Powell felt his side were not durable enough as they could not maintain their big effort of the first half in their Ladbrokes Challenge Cup defeat to St Helens.

The Tigers head coach was pleased with the players’ efforts and the way they defended in a first half in which they could rightly be aggrieved to be 12-0 down.

But he was unhappy that they did not sustain the performance level for the whole game and were picked apart by Saints’ red hot star Ben Barba.

“I don’t think we are durable enough,” said Powell.

“We weren’t durable enough over 80 minutes. You can’t do 40, or 50 or 60 against the better teams because they are going to beat you. That’s happening to us at the moment.

“We just gave key penalties away and made poor errors when we looked like we might some pressure on St Helens.

“They haven’t had too many tough games recently and we felt that if we could put them under pressure we’d be all right, but we weren’t able to do that.

“They’re a good side and they deserved to win. We’ve got them again in a couple of weeks so we are going to have to improve that’s for sure.”

Powell was happy with aspects of his side’s display, particularly in the first half.

He said: “I thought in the first half there wasn’t much in it.

“Two breakaway tries were the difference at half-time.

“I don’t think we really got a cutting edge in attacking positions, but I thought we defended really well.

“Barba’s a good player, but I thought we dealt with him for the most part. We shut him down on pretty much everything in the first half. He got some little bits down the middle that we covered up.

“But we started the second half really poor and never really got going.

“I thought our ability to sustain pressure on St Helens was non existent.

“When the game got broken up the quality that Barba’s got shone through.

“When your middle unit starts to get fatigued and you’re not putting pressure on the opposition that can happen. Then he (Barba) picked us apart.”

Tigers were without injured backs Luke Gale, Ben Roberts and Greg Eden and again went with skipper Michael Shenton at full-back. Powell admitted the absentees were a factor.

He added: “We are lacking a little bit of a cutting edge, with the way our injuries have gone, in attacking positions. They are a good side and if you’re not outstanding defensively for pretty much the whole game they find something on you.”