PLEASED BOSS Daryl Powell felt Castleford Tigers were “outstanding” for spells of their 26-24 pre-season win over Leeds Rhinos.
Tigers raced into an 18-4 lead after half an hour, but Leeds roared back to set up a tense finale.
Powell reckoned Tigers showed what they are capable of before the break and though he was disappointed with their second-half errors, he also saluted their last-ditch defence.
“Ultimately we had to do a lot of scrambling in the second half because we couldn’t really keep hold of the ball,” Powell said.
“We had limited ball in the second half and we made too many errors.
“Leeds put us under a lot of pressure, but I thought we showed a lot of toughness – we had to dig deep to win the game.”
Powell added: “In the first half I thought we were outstanding.
“We created a lot of opportunities, our attacking play was pretty slick, but the try just before half-time brought Leeds back into it a bit.
“In the second half we made too many errors, but I thought there were some really promising signs.
“We haven’t had a Boxing Day game, most of those players’ last game was at the end of last season against Wigan so from that respective it was really good and we will learn so much from that game.”
Tigers begin their Betfred Super League campaign at home to Challenge Cup holders Catalans Dragons on Friday, February 1.
“We’ll carry a lot of that into the Catalans game in a couple of weeks’ time,” Powell said of yesterday’s positives.
“The scramble stuff we did at the end, having been under a lot of pressure, was a real plus for us.
“The signs from an attacking perspective were great.
“We had minimal time in their half in the second half and as soon as we got a shot we scored.
“I am pleased with where we’re at, but we’ve still got a bit of work to do, clearly.
“We will take the lessons and move on.”
Grant Millington (rib) and Nathan Massey (knee) both picked up “knocks”, but Powell said neither injury is believed to be long-term.