Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell has praised his opposite number at Catalans Dragons ahead of the meeting with the French club at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle this weekend.
Powell has been impressed with the work done by head coach Steve McNamara to turn around the Dragons after a slow start to the season, crowned by their victory in last Saturday’s Challenge Cup final.
“Catalans have been excellent,” said Powell.
“They obviously had a lot of French players in the World Cup and it took them some time to get going, but you have to give a massive amount of credit to Steve McNamara and how positive he’s been all the way through.
“That’s a huge win for them in the Challenge Cup final as a club and for French rugby league as well so from their perspective it was really pleasing.
“They are a dangerous team. They are aggressive, they are really tough and come after you. they’re a difficult team to play against as we found out the last time we played them over in France.”
Powell is aware that sides can often struggle the week after the cup final, but is expecting a big test for his team against the Dragons.
He added: “I’m expecting a tough game. That’s what we have to our mindset going into the game.
“Notoriously the week after playing in the Challenge Cup final is a tough one. We’ve got to make sure that’s a reality.
“I thought we did a good job of that against Warrington pre-Wembley.
“We’ve just got to focus on ourselves and get our performance right and be the way they are, tough and aggressive.
“We’ve got to be accurate with our play then we know we cause a lot of teams trouble.
“They certainly have an effective defence on the edge with how aggressive they are and with Brayden Williame and David Mead so you’ve got to be accurate and you’ve got to make good decisions with the ball - and we’ll certainly be looking to do that.”