Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell: We want to build momentum with Leeds Rhinos game

Jake Trueman tackled by two London Broncos players before he received a head knock that will lead to him missing his first game of the season. Picture: Matthew Merrick
Jake Trueman tackled by two London Broncos players before he received a head knock that will lead to him missing his first game of the season. Picture: Matthew Merrick

Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell is looking for his team to build some momentum now following their morale-boosting performance and win against London Broncos.

The Tigers produced their best display for some weeks in a 42-10 win over an in-form Broncos side and Powell is looking for more of the same at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle again tomorrow night in a game against Leeds Rhinos he described as “important for many reasons”.

He told the Express: “It’s a big game against Leeds. They’re really looking to build on what they did last week and obviously we are as well.

“We are at home and we’re looking forward to the challenge.

“Our fans aren’t big fans of Leeds Rhinos are they? So there’s a real rivalry between the teams from a fans perspective. It’s an important game for them, but it’s an important two points for us as well to keep us moving upwards to what we can maybe achieve this year.

“For us now it’s just some consistency in how we play. Obviously performances and then results at the moment are pretty important.

“It’s getting really into the tough part of the season now where things are going to be decided.

“All the way through the competition it’s tight. Obviously at the bottom it’s tight and we didn’t want to get dragged into that so it was a really crucial two points for us against London.

“It was a strong performance from us and now we are four points away from third place and we can see that. I think that’s got to be a real target for us to aim for.”

Tomorrow night’s game brings some unpredictability with the Rhinos side having undergone a transformation in personnel this month.

Powell said: “The thing with Leeds at the moment is you don’t know which team you are going to play.

“They’ve signed Rhyse Martin from Australia, Lunt’s gone there and Lui. It’s just a big turn round so quite which team you are going to be playing against is an awkward one.

“We played pretty well against them last time at Headingley, but it will be a different team this time and they are fighting tooth and nail at the bottom so it’s going to be a tough game.

“We’ve just got to get after Leeds, be aggressive and hopefully continue to improve our attacking game.

“There’s some real intrinsic motivation around us at the moment. We need to carry that with us and get some consistency in performance. Our next two games are real key ones to get us some momentum moving forward.”

Powell admits he has a decision to make on who to play at full-back following Jordan Rankin’s outstanding display in the position last week. But he is also without three half-backs with Jake Trueman unavailable through the concussion protocol to add to the already injured Luke Gale and Jamie Ellis so Rankin may be needed in the halves.

Tuoyo Egodo, who scored two tries against London, will also sit out the game after getting a head knock, but Greg Eden is expected to return on the wing.

Powell explained: “We got two head knocks and with it being a short turnaround you can’t play if you fail the head test.

“Tuoyo failed his head test and Jake came off late and could not come back on. We miss those two guys as a result of the rules in place for concussions.

“Greg Eden will be available so he’ll come into contention with Tuoyo Egodo obviously dropping out.

“We’ve still got Mitch Clark, who’s been fit but not been selected and Will Maher’s in and around it but not been selected so we’ve got options.

“Pete (Mata’utia) should come back into the mix so then I’ve got a choice to make.

“We’ve got a few half-backs missing. Jamie Ellis pulled out late last week and he’s got an issue with his knee that’s going to need cleaning up.

“He’s going to miss the next four to six weeks, which is a bit of a blow, but we’re okay otherwise. We didn’t get any other injures apart from the head knocks.”