Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell is pleased with his side’s good form going into Saturday’s big Tetley’s Challenge Cup quarter-final at Wigan.
The Tigers have won their last three Super League games, piling up 138 points along the way, and produced possibly their best attacking display of the season when they ran in 11 tries against Hull KR in their most recent game last Sunday.
“It’s important that we’re going into the game in good form. Obviously the draw was made a fair while ago and form can vary leading into games like this, but ours has maintained,” Powell told the Express.
“Even when we lost to Huddersfield and Leeds we were good for large parts of those games so our form’s good. We’re confident, we know what we’re about, we know what we do well and we’ve got a tough group as well.
“We’ve got all the ingredients to go and win the game, but we recognise it’s going to be a tough battle.”
Powell praised his players for their performance against Hull KR when there were no thoughts of saving anything for the cup tie.
He said: “It was a really dominant performance from the team.
“Obviously I was delighted to get the two points, but the manner of the performance was great as well. It was a really good afternoon for us.
“The story of us so far has been the consistent level of performance from quite a number of players. It hasn’t mattered who I’ve put in to play at what position the boys have been doing a great job.
“We’ve got some real competition for places and it’s exactly what I expected when we signed a squad that was a little bit deeper. I’m delighted that they are all pushing each other.
“All the players did well, but it was great to see Weller Hauraki coming back to form in a big way. Our right side attack was outstanding.
“Our left side attack has had a massive amount of plaudits, but the right side really stepped up last weekend. They found a weakness in the Hull KR defence and really took them to pieces, particularly in the first half.
“Grant Millington was great again and he has been outstanding all season. His passing ability as well as his strength when he’s carrying the ball has made him a really strong player for us.
“Alongside that you’ve got Lynchy and Scott Wheeldon came off the bench and was superb.
“We’ve got a lot of threats and a lot of people are playing well. Our middle unit have been outstanding so far this season.”
Castleford managed to keep up their scoring threat without star winger Justin Carney, who sat out the first game in his two match ban, and Powell was delighted with the display of the wingers who did play.
He said: “Kirk Dixon’s been playing really well for quite a while now and James Clare did a good job against Hull KR.
“There’s always a lot of pressure when you come in for someone like Justin Carney, but he didn’t let it bother him.
“He was pretty strong, looked sharp and it was a great finish at the end when he beat Gardner on the outside. When he comes in he generally does a good job for us.”