Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell praised his players for their performance and the fans for the part they played in making it a successful day for the club on Sunday.
On the pitch the Tigers produced a tremendous display to comfortably beat their Widnes Vikings opponents and off it the supporters showed restraint against provocation from opposition fans that ran onto the pitch at the end and ran towards the Castleford end of the ground.
Powell was a proud head coach and now heads for his “dream final” against his former club, Leeds Rhinos, on Saturday week.
He told the Express: “I thought we were excellent against Widnes. It was an 80-minute performance, we had a high completion rate and it was a real disciplined, focused effort from all the players.
“It was really pleasing that under a fair bit of pressure we came with a performance and a result that was really needed.
“We were outstanding defensively. Obviously we conceded a try right at the end, which was a little bit disappointing when we should have covered them, but overall as a disciplined, focused, defensive performance it was good.
“We were playing against a team who have got some smart players so to nullify that threat consistently I thought was outstanding.
“There were some difficult circumstances as well with some of the key players that were missing and then losing Craig Huby so early, but we looked fit, we looked strong and we handled everything that they threw at us.
“We didn’t get sidelined or ruffled by anything so as a composed, disciplined performance I thought it was our best of the season.”
Powell was unhappy that the players’ celebrations with the fans at the end of the semi-final was cut short by the behaviour of Widnes supporters, who ran on the field.
He said: “It did spoil it a little bit with the Widnes fans at the end.
“I just thought it was ridiculous and I don’t know what they were trying to achieve.
“It was a pointless thing and it spoiled it for the fans and the players.
“That was really disappointing and disappointing for the Widnes club. You would think they’ll get a financial sanction, which is going to hurt them. Just for the sake a few idiots running on the field and trying to antagonise the opposition supporters. It’s not what rugby league’s about.
“I though the Castleford fans were outstanding.
“We showed a lot of composure and discipline on the field and they showed it off the field. It was great to see
“They were there in big numbers again and they’ve been like that all year. They helped make it a great atmosphere in the ground.
“Obviously we got off to a great start and dominated the whole of the game I thought and the fans really got behind the team.
“I know the players massively appreciate all of them and the way they have gone about their business this year. They’ve really got behind the team.”