Castleford aiming to bounce back at London

Ashley Gibson, on the comeback trail.
Ashley Gibson, on the comeback trail.

They may be at opposite ends of the Super League table, but Castleford Tigers are not taking London Broncos lightly, says head coach Daryl Powell.

While the Tigers have won five of their first six games London are so far winless in their six and Powell is determined to make sure his players have the right attitude for tonight’s game at The Hive.

He said: “It’s a dangerous game. London have had an extra couple of days rest and they’re ready for the challenge.

“They’re getting better, you can see that, they’ve got some smart players in there. We’re not going to be going there taking anything lightly.

“It’s about us performing and making a statement that what’s happened previously is not going to drop off the end of a cliff because we lost a game.

“It’s a big game for us and I’m not thinking we’ll just chalk this one off. It’s important we play well.

“I’ve seen a bit of London. They’re tough and physical and look pretty fit. In patches they really challenged Wakefield. In the second half they competed favourably against a formidable Leeds team.

“We got rattled a bit at the start of last week’s game and we weren’t quite as good as we wanted to be. We need to improve on that to get a result.”

Powell believes the players have already responded well to their first defeat having trained well this week.

He said: “The attitude’s been unquestionable. We lost at the weekend, but it wasn’t through commitment and effort. We were great, we had that in barrow loads again.

“We weren’t far away and could have easily have got a draw, but it wasn’t to be.

“The players have responded outstandingly well. We’ll find out on Thursday how we’ve responded from a physical perspective, but I expect us to be pretty good.

“Straight after the game we said that if we can learn some lessons it will benefit us.

“I think we’ve dealt with it in the right way and it’s about moving on now. That’s why the short turnround is probably good for us. We’re just looking forward to it. It’s a bit of a mini camp down in London and we’ll hopefully go and enjoy ourselves.”

Castleford will be without injured players Jake Webster, Kirk Dixon, Lee Gilmour and Scott Wheeldon while Jordan Tansey sits out the second of his three-match ban, but they hope to have prop Ryan Boyle and centre Ashley Gibson back soon with both due to make their comeback in the York reserves team last night.

“I would have preferred them to have played a first team game, but York haven’t got a game this week then the week after it’s the Challenge Cup and for obvious reasons we wouldn’t let our players be involved,” explained Powell.

“It’s not the perfect scenario, but Ryan Boyle needs to play. He’s been out for a long time with a cruciate injury and he needs to play at whatever level. It’s going to give him some confidence that his knee’s okay.”