Castleford aiming to end home campaign on a high

Daryl Powell.
Daryl Powell.

Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell wants to give the fans a winning send off in the final home match of the 2013 Super League season on Sunday.

Powell has been delighted with the way the supporters have got behind the team since his arrival and is demanding his players reward them with one last strong home performance when they take on Salford City Reds.

Victory could lift the Tigers into the top 10 and they are also out for revenge after suffering a controversial defeat at Salford in April when the hosts fielded an extra player towards the end and were ultimately docked the two points initially gained.

“It’s our last home game and we want to finish on a high,” Powell told the Express.

“I think it’s important we finish the season off in a positive way. It’s been a pretty good last period for us and we can make that a really great finish if we can win our last two games.

“From a points difference point of view it might be difficult to overtake Bradford, but we’ve given ourselves a chance and we’re in the mix now to finish ninth depending on what Bradford do.

“But really it’s just about us and finishing positively. We feel like we’re playing well and our belief is building both with and without the ball. So it’s about finishing off now with a couple of really strong performances.

“I think in terms of entertainment it would be pretty tough to beat the games involving Castleford this season. There’s been plenty of games that have gone down to the wire and even games we’ve lost we’ve been in and played some good stuff.

“I’ve been here for 11 games and for one reason or another we’ve been in the battle in every match. Even when we’ve been well behind at half-time a couple of times we’ve fought our way back and could easily have won against Catalan and Huddersfield after being comprehensively beaten at half-time.

“I have to commend the players for the way they have gone about things since I’ve been here.”

Powell expects a hard test from Salford although the visitors to the Wish Communications Stadium stand second from bottom.

He said: “I’ve never seen a rugby league team that doesn’t fight tooth and nail to the end of the season and I think Salford will be like that.

“It will be a tough game for us because they are big and physical in the middle of the field and they’ve got some pace in the team.

“The last time out against Hull they went very close to winning it. They’ve been a little bit up and down, but they beat Catalan not too long ago and they look like they are improving and will be tough to play against.

“There was a little bit of controversy in the game at Salford when they got docked two points for having that extra player on the field for a period. There was nothing between the teams really and it could have gone either way.

“I know Castleford were really disappointed that they lost that game and when I came in Danny Orr spoke quite a bit about it and how they felt they should have won it. Sunday gives us a chance to make amends for that loss.”

Powell will be happy if his side can repeat their performance in their previous game when they beat Bradford at the Wish Communications Stadium.

He added: “For large parts we were pretty good against Bradford. We took a lot of positives from the game and we are doing a lot of good things at the moment.

“We’re getting undone in some strange ways at times. We conceded a try straight from the kick-off, which is a once in a season type thing. That was a little disappointing and there were a couple of areas we are looking to tidy up, but overall we’ve been going well.

“We are conceding points, but some of them are in strange ways. We are obviously looking to cut down the number of points we are conceding, but I can say that we are working more on defence than attack at the moment.

“The players have bought into what we are doing and we are working all the time on minimising the number of points we concede.”