League Leaders’ Shield would be huge achievement for Castleford, says Daryl Powell

It has been talked down in some quarters and even been debated about in the mainstream media: but Castleford coach Daryl Powell is in no doubt about the value of winning the club’s first-ever League Leaders’ Shield, saying it would be one of his biggest achievements in the sport.

The Tigers have never finished top of the first division in rugby league history – yet they now stand within three victories of doing that this season following an incredible regular season yield of 20 wins from 23 matches.

Plenty feel the reward for finishing top needs improving – but Powell insists it means plenty to him and the Tigers.

He said: “It would be one of my biggest achievements if we can win the League Leaders’ Shield. I don’t buy into the theory that it’s not valuable, it’s hugely valuable.

“I think it is actually the biggest prize, but it’s not seen that way in Rugby League at the moment. That doesn’t matter to us, we’ve got to keep on chalking up wins and give ourselves a chance to win it. For this group of players it would be very special because this club has never achieved it before so it would be the starting point for us.”

Powell also admits Castleford will be aiming to use the Super 8s to build momentum ahead of a likely play-off campaign.

“It’s about winning games now and creating some momentum,” he said. “You can’t hide away from the fact finishing top for us would be a significant achievement – it has never been done at the club before.”