Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell hails Paul McShane following Challenge Cup win over Salford Red Devils
Daryl Powell saluted Castleford Tigers’ effort and determination and Paul McShane’s “class” after they survived another golden point thriller in the Betfred Challenge Cup.
Tigers beat Salford Red Devils 19-18 in a dramatic quarter-final at Emerald Headingley, a month after an extra time win over Hull KR in the previous round.
Coach Powell’s side hit back from 6-0 and 12-6 down to lead 18-12, but Salford scored a converted try on the final play to send the tie into sudden death.
Salford had the first opportunity, but McShane charged down Kevin Brown’s attempted drop goal and snatched possession to set up O’Brien’s winner.
Powell said: “There was a lot going on in that game.
“It was always going to be a tough, close game with the conditions the way they were.
“Salford defended really well and we had to work so hard with two sin-binnings.
“I thought we did really well to battle through some difficult periods and that play from Paul McShane was pure class.”
Tigers were briefly reduced to 11 players in the final stages after O’Brien and Liam Watts were sin-binned following separate incidents.
“Being down to 12 and then 11, that’s very difficult, being able to defend against a team with the ability of Salford.
“Kevin Brown really worked hard to put us under pressure, he was really challenging and [Tui] Lolohea was a real threat with his running game.
“It was massive for us to keep them out when we were down to 12, I thought it was an immense effort.”
Tigers were drawn against Warrington Wolves, the club Powell will join at the end of this season, in the semi-finals, to be played on June 5.
Powell said: "I thought that before the game.
"Obviously it's a draw so you don't really know, but I had a feeling that would happen.
"It is an interesting game, they are going pretty well at the moment, they have only lost to us and we play them two weeks before [the semi-final] so it will be an interesting period for us."
Tiger forward Grant Millington suffered a knee injury which Powell said will keep him out of their next game, against Hull KR.