Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell has expressed his delight at the way his team bounced back from two defeats in such emphatic style against Wigan Warriors.
After back to back losses at St Helens and Hull, the pressure was on to deliver back at home to the Warriors, but the way they put the reigning champions to the sword left Powell full of praise for the efforts of his players.
He told the Express: “It was a really good performance from us.
“Obviously it was a key game. We had lost two straight so we needed to win that game.
“I know Wigan had some tough things happen to them during the game, but for us it was just an electric performance at times.
“We started so positively. We put them under immense pressure and to get away from them the way we did was massive for us.
“It was a huge performance from pretty much every player.
“When you’ve lost two and you see Wigan on the horizon you think here we go we’re going to have to be outstanding and we were.
“The fact that we got away from Wigan as we did was a little bit surprising really, but I think we played with such pace and purpose that we were really difficult to handle.”
Powell reflected on the improved defensive effort that saw Wigan kept to just one try in the 80 minutes.
He said: “We’ve been conceding four tries per game over the last three games, which is above what we expect from ourselves, so to restrict Wigan to four points was a great defensive effort.
“Our togetherness as a defensive unit, our management of contact and our work rate for each other defensively was a big step up from what we’ve seen in the previous three weeks.”
Powell was also pleased to see his side make a much faster start as they were ahead from the first minute.
He said: “We spoke about starting well and we changed the way we prepared a little bit for that game. It worked pretty well for us.
“All ways round it was a good all-round performance with and without the ball.”
While praising the overall team effort against Wigan, Powell identified several outstanding individual displays as well.
He added: “Mike McMeeken was a stand-out. Michael Shenton was back to his best. The pack was exceptional.
“We lost Ben Roberts, but Rangi Chase was great down the right-hand side and Galey was his usual self and his kicking game was great.
“We were pretty accurate all over the field. Zak Hardaker was unbelievable at the back.
“We have a lot of our players playing right on top of their game, which is important when you play the top teams.
“I was pleased with Nathan Massey and Matt Cook, a couple of players who’ve been left out of the team recently. They came back and responded and both of them played really well.”