Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell believes his side’s display at Hull showed that the spirit is still alive within the club.
For a number of reasons the Tigers have never quite been able to recapture the magic of 2017’s performances in the Super League, but they have shown their battling qualities and Powell felt they came close to pulling off an amazing victory despite coming through some adversity at Hull’s KCOM Stadium.
Although the final score read 36-12 Cas had numerous scoring chances and felt hard done to by a couple of decisions to allow two tries for Hull.
That they produced such a big effort was all the more impressive as they went into the game without first choice half-backs Luke Gale and Ben Roberts, centre Jake Webster, last season’s top scorer Greg Eden and five other unavailable outside backs.
They then lost full-back Jake Trueman and prop Grant Millington to injury in the first half, leaving them with just two players they could rotate for the whole of the second half.
“Grant Millington was only on there for three minutes and I think a minute of that he was unconscious so it was a really tough one that to lose him after having just gone on,” said Tigers head coach Daryl Powell.
“That put us down to two rotations because Jake Trueman had already had to come off and we had to put Michael Shenton to full-back.
“It was an awkward thing to have to do and you get those games now and again. I thought we did pretty well.
“We conceded a couple of soft tries that we were disappointed with, but overall I think there was lots to be confident about moving forward.”
Powell added: “I think the spirit’s intact.
“Obviously we’re doing it tough at the minute with half-backs and outside backs injured that, of course, makes it difficult for us.
“We’re having to play people out of position a lot, which makes it hard on individual players when they’re outstanding in their own positions and perhaps not quite as good in another position.
“It’s what they have to do for the team at the moment. It is what it is and we’ve just got to get back on track.
“This week gives us a one-off opportunity in the Challenge Cup and it takes us out of the league for a week so we just have to concentrate on getting a performance and a result this week.”