Castleford Tigers head coach Daryl Powell took a number of positives from his side’s performance in their latest pre-season warm-up match against Doncaster at the Keepmoat Stadium.
Powell was particularly pleased with the attitude of the players and the way they went about the defensive side of the game.
He said: “I thought we were great. Our attitude across the 80 minutes was fantastic.
“Our yardage sets were great, we got forward really well and our big men were outstanding.
“It was great to see Ryan Boyle out there again after such a long lay-off.
“I think we’ve got some work to do on combinations and timings, but the rest of our game was great.
“It was a massive step up in terms of attitude defensively. We went to a whole new level.
“I know we were playing against a Championship team, but they are a good Championship team. They have got a lot of big men in there and I thought our tackle management was a massive improvement. Our line speed was great.”
Powell praised the performance of a number of his players:
“Denny Solomona and Ashley Gibson both showed good pace and took their tries well.
“Ashley Gibson’s done really well this pre-season. He will be disappointed with his first year at the club, but this pre-season he’s really stepped up. I thought he was excellent against Doncaster.
“If you give Denny an opportunity to run the full length of the field he’s gone, he’s very quick. It was a great finish from him for his try.
“He also made a good break in the first half. He’s quick and he’s prepared to back himself as well into space. He’s one of those players who’s exciting when he gets hold of the ball and looks like he can do well for us on the wing or at centre.
“The young blokes were great as well.
“We put a couple of wingers out there late on and I thought Will Plimmer did really well and Dec Sheehan. They’ve only trained with us twice so it’s good to see them put their hand up and do pretty well.
“Both young hookers, Tom Holmes and Brandon Moore, did a good job. They were pretty tough defensively and didn’t look out of place in the team.”
Castleford came through the game without any major injuries and there was more good news with prop forward Boyle emerging unscathed from his first game since last April.
Powell added: “We’re okay injury-wise from the game.
“Denny got a little knock to his back, but I don’t think it’s too much of a problem.
“He should be okay for next week, he will just take it easy early in the week.
“Ryan Boyle came through his comeback game fine. There doesn’t look like there is any problem.
“He had a couple of decent stints and it looked like he enjoyed himself back out there.”