Castleford boss: We weren’t good enough against Leeds

Michael Shenton scores his second try for Castleford Tigers against Leeds Rhinos. Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe.
Michael Shenton scores his second try for Castleford Tigers against Leeds Rhinos. Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe.

Castleford Tigers head coach Daryl Powell did not hide his disappointment at his side’s latest failure to beat their Leeds Rhinos rivals when he spoke to the media after a 26-12 defeat at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.

The Tigers stuck to their task, but were always chasing the game from the moment they conceded the first try after 15 minutes and Powell did not think his side had done themselves justice.

He said: “We made a few errors early on and sometimes they get you down the track.

“I don’t think we ever got our game together today.

“Leeds were the better side consistently and we’re just not consistent enough in what we do, whether it’s from ruck to ruck, or game to game.

“Today Leeds were excellent. They put us under pressure, made big metres and were just the better side over most of the 80 minutes.

“I thought we had some periods where we got a little bit on them, but their scrambled defence generally shut us down so it was a disappointing day for us.

“I thought we had about four good ball sets all game and we just didn’t have any field position at all. Whether that was inability to get penalties for whatever reason or Leeds’ good ball control - they hardly put any ball down at all.

“There’s some positives in there and we’re not going to throw the baby out with the bathwater, but I just didn’t think it was good enough really.

“Andy Lynch was great, I thought he was superb and worked really hard.

“Obviously he got our man of the match and he is one of the consistent players. He’s one of the boys every single week who’s up around the same standard and he plays massive minutes as well. He’s one of the positives to come out of the game.

“We’ll get plenty more, it’s just tying them all together at the moment. The consistency is just a bit fragile at the moment.

“Our game was not at our fluent best and we’ve got a bit of work to do for Monday.”

Powell acknowledged that Cas now had another tough task on their hands as they go to Warrington on Monday in a quick turn around but he does have players he can bring in and he was relieved there was only one injury picked up from the Rhinos game.

He said: “Jake Webster got a knock on the head and will probably be out, but apart from that I think we’re okay.

“Easter is always tough and you have to back up, but it is what it is, there’s no point complaining. The players will be fine. They’ve got a couple of days then they get ready for it.

“They’ll obviously be looking to bounce back. It’s away from home and it’s a tough challenge, but we’ve got to get ourselves ready, dust ourselves down and get stuck into it.

“We’ve got a few blokes who could potentially step in and Frankie Mariano’s going to be available.

“We’ll try to freshen it up, but ultimately the vast majority will be walking out onto the grass again.”

Powell was delighted by the massive turn-out of over 11,000 for the game.

He added: “The crowd was great and the fans have been great all the way through.

“We’ve had good crowds consistently and I was just disappointed we just couldn’t give them a little bit more to get behind today.

“Just after half-time we had some key opportunities that we couldn’t take. Line breaks, a little bit of fortune at times, but we couldn’t finish them off. If we could have got it back to 16-12 we may have had a chance of getting something. But I thought Leeds were just too good for us today.

“We’ve got some work to do and need to improve. “We need to toughen up in the middle, our creativity has to be better and we’ve got to be more consistent.

“I think we’re good enough to be at the top end of the table, if we can piece it together on a more consistent basis. But on today’s evidence it’s clearly not good enough so a couple of things need to happen - and we need to start with that on Monday.”