Tigers aim to keep up excellent work

Castleford Tigers coach Daryl Powell: "We are averaging only 12 points conceded in the first four games and that is promising," Picture: Matthew Merrick.
Castleford Tigers coach Daryl Powell: "We are averaging only 12 points conceded in the first four games and that is promising," Picture: Matthew Merrick.

Coach Daryl Powell says Castleford Tigers need to be on their game every week if they are to maintain their superb start to the season.

The Tigers are joint Super League leaders with reigning champions Wigan Warriors after scoring 174 points and conceding just 48 in winning their first four games.

They will aim to keep up the excellent work in Sunday’s clash against mid-table Salford Red Devils at AJ Bell Stadium (3pm kick-off).

“We are averaging only 12 points conceded in the first four games and that is promising, but we have got to continue to work on it,” said Powell.

“We are mindful that we’ve got some challenges coming up and we’ve got to be on our game every week.”

Castleford’s scintillating play this season has earned them numerous plaudits but Powell believes his players will stay focused.

“The signs so far are that they are a pretty focused group,” he added.

“Everything’s positive at the minute, but you are never the finished article, regardless of how well you are going.

“Widnes (who finished seventh in 2016) were top at this stage last year, so we aren’t going to get too far ahead of ourselves. That’s a big thing for us.”

Powell was delighted his side kept a cleansheet in last Sunday’s 34-0 win at Widnes after surviving an early onslaught from the Vikings.

“They put a lot of pressure on us and we had to dig in and fight our way out of trouble,” he said.

“There were some really pleasing signs from a defensive point of view.

“Widnes did a great job on us at the start. They started really well and we didn’t score until the 22nd minute. They had five sets on our line and we had to dig deep, but we did it pretty well.

“We spoke at half-time about keeping them nil and I thought our defence in the second-half was outstanding. We restricted Widnes to their own half consistently.

“There were some world class pieces of skill out there but probably we’d say collectively it wasn’t our best attacking performance.

“Widnes did certain things that nullified our threat and we were a little bit scratchy but overall I was absolutely delighted.”

Powell said the Tigers came through last Sunday’s game without any major new injuries.