Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell has spoken of his pride in the rise in the club’s stature that is reflected in being put on as the highlight last game of day one of the Magic Weekend at Newcastle on Saturday.
The Tigers’ game with Leeds Rhinos is, of course, a rematch from last year’s Grand Final and has the feel of a massive match for both clubs to ensure they do not slip off the top four pace in the Betfred Super League.
”They put us on last for a reason. If you’re on last you are seen as one of the highlights so for us to be consistently seen as the highlight game then it shows where we’ve got to as a team,” said head coach Powell.
“You learn from the big games, how to handle atmosphere and pressure. We’ve played some big games against Leeds, Elland Road obviously earlier on this year, the Grand Final and Magic last year.
“I think we’ve sold in the top two or three for fans going. For a club like ourselves it just shows growth and positivity around the club, which is great.”
Powell is a fan of the Magic Weekend concept, although he reckons it could do with a bit of tweaking.
He said: “I think there’s still a place for Magic Weekend.
“The only issue I’ve got is that it can lead to an unbalanced competition.
“We play a tough game against Leeds and some of the other teams get slightly easier games.
“They are not gimme two points, but some teams have got tougher games than others. They need to make sure they get that right. There’s definitely some anomalies there that need to be ironed out.
Powell believes St James’ Park is a good venue to stage the big two-day rugby league event.
He added: “I think Newcastle is a good venue for Magic.
“The stadium’s great, Newcastle as a place is great and for the fans they can chill out and have a party and enjoy two days of rugby league.
“The atmosphere in there is pretty special as well.”