Castleford Tigers Head Coach Daryl Powell said his side full deserved to claim their 10th First Utility Super League win of the season, following the 34-22 triumph over Widnes Vikings at The Mend-A-Hose Jungle on Sunday.
The Tigers trailed 12-10 at the half-time hooter following a first half where the lead changed hands four times, but the home side produced an inspired second half performance to come away with the spoils and remain third in the table.
It took until the early exchanges of the second-half for the Tigers to really come to life after Justin Carney and Paddy Flynn were both sinbinned for a punch up. Cas scored two tries in as many minutes through Luke Dorn, with the Tigers exposing the vacated area down the left flank.
Powell agreed with his opposite number, Widnes coach Denis Betts, saying it was a pivotal moment in the game, although he insisted that the Tigers were good value for the win.
"We attacked the side where both sides had lost a man pretty well. I thought we could have done it a little bit better towards the back end of that period.
"It was a tough game and there wasn't much in it. I thought at half time that we had been in a real battle and that we needed to be a little bit better.
"They had played a little bit better than us, particularly in the last 25 minutes of the first half and they were finding some space on our edges. But we held tough and I thought that we were a bit unlucky in the first 15 minutes; I thought we should have had more points in the half.
"In the second half we pretty much had control until they hit us with two tries towards the end. It was a little bit scrappy at times but obviously we're really pleased to get the two points."
It was the combination of Marc Sneyd, Michael Shenton and Dorn who produced the goods for the Tigers in that crucial ten minute period, with Powell suitably impressed with their input.
"Dorn is pretty sharp; I thought that there was a time in the first half when he should have passed the ball and he was lucky to get out of it.
"In the second half he came up with some really smart pieces of play; he's a very quick and instinctive rugby league player. He got on the end of some of the opportunities that we created down the left hand side and finished pretty well.
"Shenton didn't get much ball in the first half and I thought that we played within ourselves. We spoke at half time about opening our game up a little bit.
"In some ways, the space that was created with Carney and Flynn going off, gave us the space for Shenny to play into. Sneyd and Shenny were great in that period.
"He's been playing some outstanding rugby league and he's been ever present; he's a really durable character whose leadership is growing all the time as well."
At one stage, Powell's men lead by 22 points before the Vikings pulled two converted scores back in the final 10 minutes which made for a tense final few moments for the Cas coach.
"I would have liked us to hang on to those 12 points that we conceded at the end," Powell added.
"It's tough when you're playing against teams like Widnes, when you get to a point where they're prepared to chance their arm, and they did that well against us.
"I was getting a little bit worried going into the last four or five minutes thinking if they get another one then there's a chance they could get another and there could be a draw on the cards.
"It got a little bit edgy but I thought we were good enough in the end and I thought that we were good enough to win the game today."
Photo: Melanie Allatt.
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