Castleford boss unhappy with attitude of players in Boxing Day derby

James Clare struggles to get past determined Featherstone Rovers tacklers. Picture: Matthew Merrick
James Clare struggles to get past determined Featherstone Rovers tacklers. Picture: Matthew Merrick

Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell admitted there is work to do after seeing his side lose their first warm-up game at home to local rivals Featherstone Rovers.

Powell did not mince his words after the 32-16 Boxing Day defeat, blaming his players’ attitude for a poor performance against their opponents from the Championship.

Even though the Tigers had 14 first teamers missing and it was the club’s first hit out since their Grand Final defeat the head coach was highly critical of the players who took to the Mend-A-Hose Jungle pitch.

“We didn’t get a lot out of that,” said Powell. “I thought we were poor.

“I thought our attitude was poor and that was the beginning and the end of it for me.

“We talked a lot about attitude and how important the game was for quite a few individuals within the team, whether they were young players or new players looking to make a point.

“I just thought Featherstone went after the game more than we did and as a result won a lot more of the key battles. It was pretty disappointing to be honest.

“It probably gives us a bit of a kick up the backside.

“Obviously we’ve got a lot of good players to come back. There were a significant number of our better players who didn’t play, but still I would expect a Castleford team to play with a better attitude than that so we have some work to do in the next month.”

Powell refused to blame local referee Andy Sweet who gave 12 penalties against the Tigers.

He said: “I don’t think the guy in the middle was great, but it wasn’t about him, it was about us and I thought our discipline was poor.

“We gave some pretty average penalties away.”

Powell did have words of praise for new boy James Green for his first half display, adding: “I thought James Green was probably the best player for us on the field.

“He had a point to prove and he went after it. He had an outstanding first half and he’s got a little bit of a groin injury so we pulled him at half-time.

“There was some smart bits from both half-backs, but I’d just focus on James Green. He was the stand-out for us and I thought he was the one player to make a big impression.”

Powell confirmed there were no serious injuries to come out of the game.