Daryl Powell admitted to being relieved that Castleford just got over the line against Wakefield Trinity, but he was pleased with aspects of his side’s performance.
Injuries once again bit as the Tigers lost two players in the first half to limit their substitution options, but they managed to hold on for the points after narrowly withstanding a Trinity onslaught in the second half.
“It was a big win for us, absolutely crucial,” said Tigers boss Powell.
“Our injury list is pretty ridiculous. I know Wakefield’s is pretty tough as well, but we lost two boys again which made the rotation difficult.
“In probably the first 50 minutes we were outstanding. The young half-back pairing handled things really, Peter (Mata’utia) back at full-back was excellent as were our forwards. Some of the things we did were as good as we’ve seen for a long time and defensively I thought we were excellent.
“There were loads of positives, but when the momentum changed you could almost feel the nervousness in the team and they got back at us. We did well to hang on in the end.
“I thought our control was good for the most part. Obviously there was a period in the second half where the game just completely flipped on its head and we conceded a couple of tries from kicks we possibly should have done better with. But we were much closer to what we’re capable of. Some of our attacking play was excellent.
“We need to take the massive positives out of it.”
Powell went further with his praise of young half-backs Jake Trueman and Cory Aston in their first game together.
“What Truey did at the end with a smart kick with about 40 seconds left was the hallmark of a quality player with his marbles all intact in a pretty stressful situation.
“Cory started really well. He defended well all night – he had some big people coming at him – and his kicking game was good. He trained well all week in the lead up and he carried that into the game. He got a line break and some smart bits of play with his passing options. He did pretty well”
On the latest injuries Powell said that Oliver Holmes and Jesse Sene-Lefao would have no chance of playing against Catalans on Monday. He explained: “Oli’s got a knee injury, we think it’s cartilage, but we’re not sure.
“Jesse’s got a dislocated shoulder and went to hospital at half-time. He was in a fair bit of pain and had to be sedated, they’ve had to put him to sleep to put it back in. So they won’t be available.
“In 2016 we had a horrendous injury run and this is pretty close to it.”