Powell hopeful Featherstone loss can be ‘kick up the backside’ for Castleford

Castleford coach Daryl Powell admits he hopes their Boxing Day defeat to Featherstone can serve as a ‘kick up the backside’ to his squad after they were well-beaten by the Championship side to kick off their pre-season schedule.

The 2017 Grand Finalists lost 32-16 at home to Rovers, with Powell admitting he was disappointed with the performance his squad produced in their first hit-out of the new season.

He said: “I thought we were poor. I thought our attitude was poor and that was the beginning of the end of it for more.

“We spoke about how important the game was for quite a few individuals within the team, whether they were new lads or young players – and I just thought Featherstone went after it a bit more than we did. It was pretty disappointing, to be honest, but it gives us a kick up the backside.”

Powell admitted it was slightly less concerning that so many of his big names did not feature in such a poor performance – but said no matter who plays for the Tigers, they should be doing better.

He said: “There’s a significant number of our better players who didn’t play here but I’d still expect a Castleford team to play with a better attitude than that.”

Powell did admit there was one real highlight for him, however – the performance of new signing James Green.

He said: “I thought James was the best player for us on the field. He had a point to prove and he went after it. He had an outstanding first half but he got a bit of a groin injury, so we pulled him at half-time. There were some smart bits from both halves but overall, I’d just want to focus on James as I think he was the standout. He was the one who made a big impression.”