Heavy going for Castleford on “tough tracks”

Paul McShane in action for Castleford Tigers in the pre-season game against Leeds Rhinos that was played in rain, snow and sleet.
Paul McShane in action for Castleford Tigers in the pre-season game against Leeds Rhinos that was played in rain, snow and sleet.

The wet winter is making life difficult for Castleford Tigers as they look to get the fluency back into their game, according to head coach Daryl Powell.

With little let up in the rain and snow in the last few months the Tigers’ pitch and training pitch is so heavy that it has at times been difficult to get the work done in practice that Powell and his coaching staff are wanting.

The Tigers do have alternatives in the 4G pitch they use at Castleford Academy and the indoor facility at the A1 Football Centre, in Knottingley, but the club is hoping for a dry spell to give their own outdoor pitches a chance to recover.

“We’re training well, but it’s really tough at the moment,” Powell told the Express.

“I don’t think people realise how difficult the pitch was for the Widnes game. You are looking at some players putting their foot down to take a step and taking a massive divot out of the pitch.

“It’s like that on the training field as well so it’s not easy at the moment.

“We’re training on the 4G at Cas High just to try to get a decent track because it’s so hard at the moment to get decent footing.

“We want to be better and a bit more accurate and it’s really awkward.

“But even in tough conditions we’ve just got to work hard to try to get things right.

“The Castleford pitch is the heaviest I’ve ever seen it. Hopefully we won’t get too much more rain this week and we can start to see a little bit of an improvement in the surface.

“Playing the Leeds pre-season game right in the middle of a period of really heavy rain didn’t help. It does damage the field significantly.

“We’re playing on some really tough tracks at the moment. That’s not all that’s happened to us - some of it is we just haven’t been good enough - but it does have an impact definitely.”