Head coach Daryl Powell described Castleford Tigers’ display as their worst of the season, but was delighted that his side found a way to beat Hull FC 19-16 to preserve their unbeaten Super League record.
Powell was pleased with the way the players defended their line against Hull and continued to show the spirit and resilience that has stood them in good stead in the early games this season.
He said: “We hung in there and showed a lot of resilience and character to defend our own line.
“We then found some energy and punch in our game to go on to win it.
“I’m obviously delighted again to react to a tough situation and come out on top.
“It’s pleasing to get ourselves out of situations that don’t look fantastic for the team.
“There were a few areas we need to work on to tidy up in midfield where the game got a bit too quick for us at times due to some poor tackle management.
“But on our try line we were very good. They scored a couple of tries when they ran it on the last play, but we’re making teams work hard to score and that’s real pleasing element of our performances so far.
“It was probably our worst performance of the season, but I thought Hull played well and put us under pressure.
“We found a way to win, and the character of the side is fantastic. We will learn a lot of lessons from it, which is great for us. Hull set up to defend against us in a certain way and we didn’t handle it very well.
“The Wigan game took a lot out of us, because it was a big effort from everybody and a very physical game. We tried our best to manage it through the week, but I thought we were a little bit low on energy.
Powell has steered the Tigers to their best start to a Super League season and believes the team has built a platform to kick on from.
He said: “It’s pleasing to have won the first five games.
“We’ve got some tough challenges coming up and a couple of away games now that will bring their own difficulties, but we’ve given ourselves a real good head start into the season and we can start to grow and build from where we’re at.
“It’s been an outstanding platform builder for us.”
Powell rotated his team again for the Hull game with full-back Luke Dorn rested despite a great display and a match winning try in the previous week’s win against Wigan and will continue the policy when he has the chance to ensure every player stays as fresh as possible this year.
He added: “Jordan Tansey played really well against Catalan, and then I brought Dorny back in. I did the same with Richard Owen, and I’m trying to rotate the squad.
“I speak with the players about it, to keep everybody ready across 27 rounds of Super League, so that at the end of it we have got a fresh group of boys.
“At the minute, I would rather give someone from our middle unit a breather, but it is proving pretty difficult. I am just giving people an opportunity where I see fit.
“Dorny has played three of the first five games, and Tansey has played two. We have got depth of Super League quality players, and I need to make sure they all get the opportunity.”