Castleford coach delighted with ‘big step up’

Michael Shenton goes over for one of Castleford Tigers' 10 tries against Wakefield Wildcats.
Michael Shenton goes over for one of Castleford Tigers' 10 tries against Wakefield Wildcats.

Delighted Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell had words of praise for a number of his players and rated his side’s performance as a big step up when they ran in 10 tries in a 56-16 victory over Wakefield Wildcats at Newcastle’s St James’s Park.

The emphatic win may have been against Super League’s bottom club, but Powell saw progress in the way the Tigers went about their business and had benefited from a big week’s training prior to the Magic weekend.

He told the Express: “It was a much improved performance from us.

“We started the game well and our second half was excellent.

“I was really pleased with the effort of the team.

“It was crucial we won and we needed a good performance as well. I thought we got both.

“There were some pleasing individual efforts and combinations and the team functioned well.

“Defensively I thought it was a big step up from us.

“From an attacking point of view we were well on top and could have scored more. They scored a try from one of our line breaks, which was disappointing, but sometimes happens, and I thought Denny Solomona was unlucky not to get another try with the decision that went to the video referee.

“We had a bit of an edge to us with the ball and our yardage was great. Some of our attacking plays had a real sharpness about them.

“Overall it was just a pleasing performance.”

Powell was impressed with the way the Tigers took their chances, particularly with the wingers who came up with seven tries between them, often getting the ball down in tight situations.

He said: “The finishing was top quality. Obviously some of the things Denny Solomona did, but Ash Gibson as well.

“They got their feet off the ground and got the ball down well. The wingers were great and it’s going to be a nice problem to have on who to pick when Justin Carney comes back.

“There’s some selection issues down the track when we’ve got everybody fit, which will be really nice. It’s not something we’ve had in our favour so far this year.

“Denny’s come back in and done a great job and Justin should be fit in a couple of weeks so it will give us some fair strike at the back.”

Powell praised more of the players for their display against Wakefield.

He added: “There were some eye-catching performance from elsewhere in the team and I thought everybody played well.

“I thought Michael Shenton looked really sharp right at the start of the game and created some real good opportunities. His combination with Luke Gale on our left was excellent.

“I was really pleased with some of the players who haven’t probably played to their potential previously. Junior Moors, Mike McMeeken and Ryan Boyle all really stepped up and Jake Webster had a big performance as well.

“Oliver Holmes was good, but we know he’s a good player. You tend to forget about him because he’s that consistent and does his job every week.

“He’s a tough character and a really consistent player.

“I thought Grant Millington was excellent at the start of the game and he did a job for us when he had to play half-back when we had to shuffle round in the second half.

“His sharpness onto the ball gave us some real punch in the first half.

“When we lost both our hookers and had to put Liam Finn into nine and Millo to half-back we just handled it really well. We continued our attacking threat, which I thought it was great because when things happen to you like that sometimes it can be really tough. But I thought the players handled it exceptionally well.”