Castleford boss wary of threat from big Salford side

Daryl Powell.
Daryl Powell.

Salford Red Devils may have lost three of their four games so far, but Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell is wary of the threat they will offer in Sunday’s Betfred Super League game at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.

Powell reckons the Red Devils are stronger than their results have suggested and are a dangerous side with a big pack of forwards.

The Cas boss is confident his side are getting closer to their fluency with every game, but they will be tested by a Salford side that has registered three wins over the Tigers in the last two years.

He said: “A lot has been made of different bits and pieces with Salford, but they’ve got a really competitive team. Physically they come after you.

“They’re bringing Kopczak and Burgess off the bench so they are a big team.

“Josh Jones is playing awesome rugby league at the moment, O’Brien is dangerous at the back and Sa’u is playing well. Weller Hauraki is a strong back rower and Josh Wood is going well at hooker.

“Their starting pack is big and aggressive and they bring some big players off the bench. They’re a big threat all over the field.

“I think they’ve started all right. They obviously lost to St Helens last week, but everybody’s losing to Saints at the moment. They were very close to St Helens at one point and they were very close to beating Wakefield.”

With the Salford game followed by another at home against Wigan the following week Powell believes the Tigers now have a chance to click into gear.

He said: “We’ve got a good opportunity at home in the next couple of weeks, but this week first, to get some consistency and get that flow and that accuracy and detail in the way we play.

“There were signs against Widnes and we were about two or three inches closer to being really cutting edge against Hull. If we get that bit closer again we’ll be really difficult to deal with.”

Team-wise, the Tigers are likely to stick with the same squad that was picked for the postponed Hull KR game with winger Greg Eden and back rower Joe Wardle still sidelined with hamstring injuries.

Powell added: “Greg and Joe are still the same and won’t be available so the squad’s not going to change too much.

“We’ve got James Clare, Jy Hitchcox and Garry Lo who could come in for Greg and Shenny fitted in there against Hull and nearly score a hat-trick, which is standard on the left side for our wingers.

“We’ve got plenty of contenders, but I think James Clare’s been going really well at Halifax and Jy Hitchcox has looked good when he’s played as well.

“Garry Lo will go week to week at Sheffield and we can call him back, but he’s got a bit of work to do. I think he’s behind the other two at the moment.”