Castleford out to bounce back in battle of cup flops

Frankie Mariano, back in the Castleford Tigers squad.
Frankie Mariano, back in the Castleford Tigers squad.

After the big disappointment of an early Challenge Cup exit Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell wants his side to put a marker down for the rest of the season when they return to Super League action at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle tonight.

It will be about which side bounces back best when Castleford take on Huddersfield Giants, who also went out of the cup last Saturday, and Powell is looking for a much improved display from his team after criticising the way the players let their tie at Hull get away from them.

He told the Express: “It was really disappointing that we couldn’t go on with the game after getting to 16-14.

“We’ve just got one competition to go for now so we’ve just got to re-focus and put all our eggs in one basket.

“We’re really disappointed, but we’ve got to move on and move on quickly because the next game is coming round pretty quick this week.

“It was a closer game than the final score and we’ve had a couple of those in the last two weeks. We just need to be more resilient at the back end of games.

“Wigan got away from us a little bit the week before and obviously Hull did. So there’s a few lessons for us there.

“We need to be better at the start as well. We started the Hull game with a couple of errors that really hurt us. The first two sets we just gave Hull an opportunity to get over the top of us and be attacking our line before we’d really even got into the game.

“We were starting games well earlier on in the season so it’s something we need to get right again.

“It’s going to be another tough one for us this week so we’re going to need to improve over the 80 minutes.”

Powell is keen to erase memories of the Tigers’ last meeting with Huddersfield in March when Cas were on the wrong end of a 22-0 defeat.

He said: “Without a shadow of a doubt we need to perform better than in the game at Huddersfield. I don’t want to talk about that game too much, we just need to move on and look forward to what’s in front of us, which is going to be a tough battle.

“We’ve been on our travels a fair bit recently so it will be welcome to be back at home.

“We’ve been playing well at home and it’s a real important game for us, we need to win it.

“We need a real good, solid performance that’s right on our standards.”

Powell is expecting a big test for his players against a Huddersfield side smarting from their cup exit last week.

He added: They are a good side with lots of good players and are just above us in the table. They are in a similar situation to us, they got knocked out of the cup and will also be looking for a response.

“They have got some real threats with the ball. Brett Ferres is back in there and they have a fair bit of strike on their left edge. Danny Brough’s kicking game has been a big plus for them over a number of years now, his running game and his distribution as well.

“Jamie Ellis has been left out of their squad, but they’ve got Craig Huby and Brett Ferres who’ll be coming back and looking to do well. It always adds a little bit more spice to the game when you have old boys coming back.

“Huddersfield have been similar to us. They start poorly then they have grabbed it back a bit and been a little bit inconsistent as well. At their best they are a really good side, really dangerous.

“We’re going to need to be right on top of our game. It really is just about us this week, getting back to our standards and the way we want to play the game.

“Doing that on a consistent basis, over 80 minutes to start with, then from week to week, is what we’re after.