Castleford Tigers coach Daryl Powell: We need to start to get some competition for places

Daryl Powell. Picture: Matthew Merrick
Daryl Powell. Picture: Matthew Merrick

Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell admitted he could not wait to gave some players back from injury to bring about some much needed competition for places in his team.

The Tigers started their latest game against Warrington Wolves without 11 players and then lost Paul McShane in the first 10 minutes so their injury crisis lengthened rather than got better.

But Powell is hoping to have some first teamers back this week and is looking forward to some of his established players having to fight for their place in the team again.

He said: “I’m hoping we’ll start to get some competition for places because there’s a couple of boys in there who are not good enough to be in the team at the minute.

“We lost Paul McShane early on, which is just a constant theme. He’s such an important player for us anyway, but it then brings Adam Milner into nine and affects our rotation in the middle of the field.

“But we conceded some soft tries, the Cooper one straight through two of our middle defenders and then Greg Eden dropping the ball. There were just too many errors in there.

“We missed touch twice, we kicked out on the full. Peter Mata’utia, to be fair to him, turned up ill so we nearly pulled him out of the game.

“I can name a full team that didn’t play and it’s a pretty good team so we’re in a bit of trouble from an injury perspective. Hopefully that’s going to improve.

“But when you get injuries so early in games it really affects your performance.”

On the latest injury and prospects for players returning soon, Powell said: “With Paul McShane I’m not sure. He’s got a rib injury that forced him from the field and he couldn’t go back on. We’ll find out more over the next few days.

“Potentially we could have Millington, Moors, sene-Lefao, Rankin and Cook back next week, but they’re not all guaranteed to come back.”

Despite a third straight defeat Powell saw some positives in the team's performance.

He added: "Our start to the second half was appalling and we didn't get to the pace of the game at all - and that was where it was won and lost. But I thought we grabbed the game back towards the middle part of the second half and we were the better team for a fair period there and scored some really good tries.

"Our right edge was excellent. Mike McMeeken's playing really well, Greg Minikin is, Cory's handled things really well and Tuoyo played well well. I thought Liam Watts' second stint in the second half was absolute class. He was a real catalyst for us.

"We started really well and got the try with a really good effort by Nathan Massey on kick pressure and from a poor kick we ended up getting a breakaway try.

"We were holding them deep and forcing them to kick deep. But it took us a while to adapt to losing Paul McShane and they got over the top of us physically for a while. We conceded two soft tries, you're missing touch and kicking out on the full, you are putting yourself under such intense pressure.

"Our concentration's got to be better."