Castleford Tigers looking to sprinkle some Magic on their season

Oliver Holmes celebrates at last year's Magic Weekend. Picture: Matthew Merrick
Oliver Holmes celebrates at last year's Magic Weekend. Picture: Matthew Merrick

Daryl Powell believes his Castleford Tigers team can rise to the big challenge in front of them at Sunday’s Dacia Magic Weekend.

The Tigers appear to have drawn the short straw after being handed the difficult task of trying to stop the runaway St Helens juggernaut in a game being played close to their back yard.

But Cas boss Powell is not concerned that Liverpool’s Anfield is the venue and thinks his players can be inspired by playing at such an iconic stadium.

He told the Express: “We’ve got a decent prep time for this week’s game and we can really get our heads around how we are going to play against St Helens.

“Confidence always gets a lift from decent performances and wins like we had last week and I’m looking for another good performance on Sunday.

“It’s a real tough challenge for us, but the tough challenges are the ones you get into so I’m looking forward to it.

“I don’t think it matters too much where we’re playing them. Our fans travel great, it should be a great atmosphere and we’re the last game on.

“I don’t worry about it being close to home for them. It’s on the usual field although it’s quite a big field.

“We’ll just get on with it, don’t worry too much about the peripheral things. It’s a game of rugby league and the best team will come out on top.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the Anfield Stadium. I’ve never been before and it’s always interesting when you go to a new environment and see how the players handle it.”

Powell remains a fan of Magic Weekend where the Tigers have not lost since he took over as head coach.

He said: “I like Magic. Generally we’ve been pretty good there.

“It’s another challenge thrown our way and we need to front up to it. I’m looking forward to seeing what Anfield can give the sport and what the sport can give Anfield.

“Magic Weekend brings something a little bit different, which is usually good.

“It’s another loop fixture, which I’m not a massive fan of, but the concept is great and I think it’s worked well wherever it’s been. I’m looking forward to it again.”

On the decision to change venues for Magic Weekend from last year, Powell added: “The RFL and Super League have to look at it commercially and then it’s what going to be the best for the sport.

“The people involved have got to make the best decision in that regard.

“In principle it’s good to take the sport around the country in general to get as much publicity as possible.

“Whether you take it to Lancashire or not is a bit of an issue I would say, but we’ll see how this year goes.”