Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell has challenged his players to show some steel in the remainder of the season if they are to make the Betfred Super League play-offs.
Powell was hugely frustrated by his side’s inability to see out the Hull KR game after they had opened up a 12-point lead then their lack of composure in the closing stages when they fluffed several chances to edge out their opponents before losing to a golden point drop-goal.
He admitted that the Tigers’ season was in the balance now between top five contention and mid-table mediocrity and wants to see a big effort in the five remaining games, starting with Saturday night’s home match with London Broncos.
“We’ve got a job on our hands now to show the steel needed to get ourselves where we want to be,” Powell told the Express.
“Teams round us are winning and we are inconsistent at best.
“I suppose the only consistent thing about us is that we’re inconsistent!
“The players have got a responsibility to aim up on a more consistent basis if we want to be a top five team.
“It’s got to mean a lot and we need to show that it means more than it looked like at times last week. We should have finished that game off when we had the opportunity.
“But it’s gone now and we’ve just got to learn from it. There’s some key lessons in there of being able to keep hold of a score you’ve built up. Clearly we need to start games better as we were slow out of the blocks. As frustrating as it is, it’s gone now. We’ve got five games left and we’ve just got to move on quickly and get on with it.”
Powell continued: “I have challenged the players because that was just not good enough last week and we have to try to find a way to win those games moving forward.
“We are right smack bang on the edge now of either being good enough to get in the five or just drifting through it and I’ve never been one to let that happen so we are in an important period for us this season.”
Cas have already beaten London convincingly twice this year, but there will be no room for complacency according to the Tigers head coach.
He added: “London are bottom of the table so they’ll be wanting to win and we’ve got to show that we’re as desperate. Our plight is not as dire as theirs is, but it’s important that we win – we want to be in the top five.
“We’ve played well twice against London this year and I’d like to see us do the same. We’ve got a couple of injury concerns this week, which are going to dwindle our numbers a little bit, but we’ll have 17 players who can do a great job for us.
“I think we’ve played really well against them in both games so it’s part down to us that they haven’t been as good against us as they have against some other teams. Obviously they’ve got rattled by us and we’ve got to do the same again.
“If we play like we have against them consistently then we’d be okay, but we haven’t been able to do that.
“We’re not a team who can be complacent. We’re a team where everybody’s got to be right on the button to win games at the moment.
“There’s too many players who are inconsistent and that obviously is what it does to us as a team.”