Powell hopeful break – and improving weather – helps sharpen Castleford for Hull

Castleford coach Daryl Powell is hopeful a two-week break, coupled with steadily improving weather, will help bring the best out of his side ahead of this afternoon’s clash with Hull.

The Tigers return to league action with the visit of Lee Radford’s FC side, who have recently returned from their mini-tour of Australia.

And with their attack being visibly below-par in the opening two rounds, Powell believes the extra time they have had on the training ground – in drier conditions – should help them find their feet this season.

“The pitches have firmed up so hopefully it’s been a help. It’s been tough training with the wet weather but the break has been good because it’s got us a couple of players in Greg Eden and Joe Wardle fit.

“We’ve been able to work on a few things that we need to improve and sharpen up our attacking play which has been a bit off.”

Powell hinted at another tough decision over who plays fullback on Saturday – but says their combinations are slowly improving, too.

He said: “One of the key players in rugby league these days is your fullback, and Benny has come back late from the World Cup.

“Whether it’s him or Greg who plays there this week we’ll see, but this break has give us a bit of time to help develop our combinations. They’re massive; it’s split seconds between getting it right and getting it wrong, and we haven’t quite nailed our attacking ability so far – which is obvious, because we’ve hardly scored any points so far.”

And Powell does not believe that Hull’s supposed jet-lag will be a concern for Radford and his side.

“I don’t see it as an issue at all,” Powell said. “It’s just about us. We’ve got to play well. I thought Hull were outstanding in their last game and that’s what we’re preparing for.

“They’re a really good side who will challenge you. You look at what (Albert) Kelly is doing, he’s playing exceptional rugby league and (Liam) Watts has got plenty of admirers after his performance last week.”