Daryl Powell described the performance of his Castleford Tigers team as “promising” as they beat Leeds Rhinos 26-24.
The Tigers were hugely impressive in their attacking play in the first 40 minutes as they opened up an 18-4 lead at one stage and while not so good after the break they managed two more tries to clinch a victory that can give them some confidence going into the new Betfred Super League season.
“In the first half I thought we were outstanding,” said Cas boss Powell.
“We created a lot of opportunities,. Our attacking play was pretty slick, but the try just before half-time put Leeds back into it a little bit.
“Ultimately we had to do a lot of scrambling because in the second half we couldn’t keep hold of the ball.
“We made too many errors, which put us under a lot of pressure, but I thought we showed a lot of toughness and had to dig deep to win the game.
“I thought we were good and there were some real promising signs – a lot of those players had their last game at the end of last season against Wigan.
“We’ll learn such a lot from the game and carry that into the Catalans game in a couple of weeks time.”
On the players to impress him, Powell said: “Hurrell started well for Leeds and put us under some pressure with some of his carries. He’s a handful of a thing, but I thought Fozzy (Alex Foster) handled him really well and then Greg Minikin when he went into the centre handled him well as well.
“Fozzy’s a great defender anyway so you put him against anybody and he’ll have a real pop at them.
“But ultimately the scramble stuff we had to do at the end when we were under pressure was a real plus for us.
“Jordan Rankin was good I thought. He’s only had four sessions with us and he’s slotted in like he’s been with us forever. He’s really creative.
“He could have done with getting his hands on the ball a couple of times, more in the first half when I thought we had Leeds on our right and it didn’t get to him.
“He’s still learning the calls, for instance, so I think he was really good.
“I thought Trueman was great. He’s hitting back rowers and putting them the other way.
“He’s such a tough kid and his kicking game was real good, we scored a couple of tries off the back of his kicks.
“The combination at half will really grow.
“On what I saw Jordan is in the driving seat to start at half-back. He’s got a lot of experience, he’s quick, he challenges defences and is a bit of a contrast from Trueman who is a really good player in lots of ways, but is not electric quick like Jordan is.”