Castleford coach Daryl Powell admits comments made by Leeds coach Brian McDermott in the run-up to their win at Headingley on Friday did help motivate his side.
The Tigers extended their lead at the Super League summit to seven points after the 23-12 win over the Rhinos.
However, the pre-match build-up was dominated by comments made by McDermott – who accused the press of putting the Tigers “on a pedestal” as well as warning the Rhinos would be ready for Castleford on Friday night. And Powell admitted his side were given a motivational boost.
“Yeah, they did,” he said when asked if the comments had motivated the Tigers.
“In terms of motivation we were always going to be motivated but you recognise what you’re going to be coming into.
“You’re going to be coming into a battle zone, as Brian put it, and we wanted to come here and prove we’re good enough to go into those types of situations and come out of the other side and I thought we did that really well.”
Powell also believes his side answered some of their critics about their ability to play wet-weather rugby after emerging through unfavourable conditions in Leeds with another priceless victory.
“I thought we were awesome. Defensively we were superb,” he said. “It was one of those nights you might see at the end of the season so I thought it was quite symbolic for us.
“We exorcised some demons from our game against Salford earlier in the year when it was wet and we didn’t really play.
“We played enough tonight without going over the top. Luke Gale’s control of the game was absolutely outstanding. It was an excellent performance from us in tough conditions.
“We would have got rid of a few doubts about us as a team tonight which I’m really pleased with.”