Castleford boss ready to make changes for Wigan game

Daryl Powell.
Daryl Powell.

Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell intends to make changes to his team for this Saturday’s big home clash with Wigan Warriors after what he saw as an unacceptable display at Hull.

Powell was unhappy that the players were unable to take advantage of having an extra man for almost an hour of the game at the KCOM Stadium and eventually lost 26-24.

He was also concerned about another slow start that saw the Tigers go 18-0 down and accused his players of panicking after they had clawed their way back into the game – and he promised that heads will roll as a result.

Powell told the Express: “There will probably be some changes. It was a poor, poor performance at Hull and unacceptable in lots of ways.

“We are on the end of a tough period at the moment, but it just wasn’t good enough.

“We’re needing some people to step up at the moment so it would be unlikely after that performance that I’d go with the same team.

“Hull missed 60 tackles, which I don’t think I’ve seen before, but we just couldn’t put them to bed so it was hugely disappointing to lose the game under the circumstances. I thought at half-time we were in a good place and needed to calm down and just go through the process of our game. But we just panicked in the second half.”

Powell has warned his players that they must begin games better than they have been doing.

He said: “It’s clear we’re starting games too slow so the boys have got to look at their preparation and make sure they are ready to go when we get out on the field, right from the off.

“We started the game at Hull way too slow and too soft defensively. As a result we went 18-0 down, which makes it a tough game, and that forced us to chase the game a little bit too much.”

After back to back narrow defeats the Tigers now face another big test against a Wigan side itching for revenge after losing at home to Cas at the start of the month. Since then they have won all three of their matches.

Powell said: “Wigan are good at recovering. They had a tough period and they’ve battled their way out of it – it’s a similar thing we’ve got to do.

“It was a great defensive display from us at Wigan, but you’ve got to do that every week, that’s a key for us to get some consistency in the way we’re defending and right from the start of the game as well. We’re giving teams too much of a look at us at the moment.

“It’s a really important game for us now against Wigan after we’ve just lost the last two games. We need to get back on track quickly.

“They will be fired up after we beat them over there, but every team comes at you and we’re finding that at the moment. We’ve started the season really well and teams have started to put their foot on the gas against us. We’ve got to respond in the right way.

“We’ve got to stand up and make sure that teams don’t get what they want. At the moment teams are getting a bit too much of what they want.

“Wigan are a big, physical side that put you under pressure. They’ve got some smart players and the young players they have brought in have done really well.

“But ultimately it’s down to us. We know we’re one of the better sides in the competition if we’re on our game. We’ve got a big task this week to get ourselves right mentally, steel ourselves up and get ready for a big game.”

Powell is hoping playmaker Luke Gale comes through a head test to be able to face Wigan after suffering concussion in an incident that led to Hull prop Liam Watts being sent-off and subsequently banned for two games. But if he does not make it, the Tigers should have Rangi Chase available again after a wrist injury.

Powell added: “Hopefully Luke’s going to be okay, but it will just depend on if he passes his test or not.

“I think Rangi Chase will be okay this week. He’s had a wrist issue for a couple of weeks, but from speaking to him this morning (Wednesday) I think he will be available. Obviously I’ve got to then make a call on who goes into the team.”