Castleford boss Daryl Powell has challenged his wounded Tigers to bounce back from their Wembley heartbreak by getting back to business with a win against Bradford Bulls at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle on Sunday.
Powell is looking for a reaction from his players after some of them did not do themselves justice in his words in the 23-10 defeat to Leeds Rhinos in the Tetley’s Challenge Cup final.
He sees the Bradford game as vital in the club’s bid to reach another big occasion, the Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford, with a victory likely to put Cas in the driving seat for a top four finish.
Powell told the Express: “There’s a challenge laid down to us now that we need to respond to what’s just happened.
“It’s pretty tough losing in a big game like that, but we can’t let if affect us.
“It was great to be a part of these big games. There’s got to be a loser and if we can use it a catalyst for the rest of our season then we will get something out of it.
“Whether or not it will make us more determined for the rest of the season we’ll find out. We’ll certainly get some answers to that question on Sunday.
“There’s still a massive amount left to play for. We’re in a good position in the league and we’ve got three games left with a great opportunity to give ourselves a really solid platform in the play-offs.
“Top four is what we need to be aiming for and then it’s into knockout football and hopefully we can learn from that knockout situation we’ve just been in and be better because of it.”
Castleford will be without Craig Huby on Sunday as he will not be risked with his elbow injury and they will also take the field without winger Justin Carney, who has an ankle injury.