Daryl Powell eager for his Castleford Tigers side to write themselves into club history
DARYL POWELL believes Castleford Tigers may have been written off by many ahead of Saturday’s Challenge Cup final against St Helens but he is desperate to see his team etch their name into club history this weekend.
The Tigers last lifted the trophy in 1986 but are hoping to win the competition for a fifth time when they take to the Wembley turf on Saturday.
It will be the last time Powell takes charge of a Challenge Cup game as the Tigers head coach as he prepares to depart at the end of the campaign.
“It is special. This is a great opportunity for us,” said the Castleford coach.
“Everybody will have written us off but we are looking forward to the challenge. We are excited by it, Challenge Cup finals are special.
“We want to enjoy it and make sure we do ourselves justice in the game.”
He added: “It is an iconic competition, it is iconic in Castleford’s history.
“We want to leave our own legacy and own history. It would be super special, I can’t quite put into words what it would mean.
“We have had to work so hard to get through. We had two golden point victories and then probably had our best performance of the season in the semi-final.
“With Castleford having won it four times in the past, being able to put our own mark on it would be awesome.
“Stranger things have happened. I don’t know how we got out of that Hull KR game, it was pure artistry that we got out of that.
“We are going to have to play outstandingly well.”
Powell took the Tigers to Wembley for the 2014 final but Castleford were beaten by rivals Leeds Rhinos on that day.
Powell feels he has taken plenty of lessons from that game seven years ago, adding: “In 2014, I think I tried to play it down a bit and keep a lid on it.
“In hindsight, that was a little bit of a mistake. We want to enjoy the experience and be excited by the challenge.”
Castleford fielded a weakened side as they were beaten 70-18 by Salford Red Devils on Sunday.
Powell did not want to run the risk of players picking up injuries that would rule them out of Saturday’s final against a St Helens team who have lost just two games all season.
“They are the best side in the comp and they have been for a few years now,” added Powell.
“We have had some great games against them. Last season, we lost a really tight game in round nine after winning a game in round seven.
“They are going to be a real challenge. You have got to front up to them, they have got real quality players.
“We have got to be right on our game and match them man for man.”