Powell promises changes for Widnes clash – and says Roberts’ place under threat

Castleford coach Daryl Powell has admitted fullback Ben Roberts’ place in the side is under threat for Sunday’s game with Widnes – just one match into his new role.

Powell has promised changes for the Tigers’ first home match of 2018, after a comprehensive defeat at title favourites St Helens on the opening weekend.

And he admitted that Samoan international Roberts – who was moved to fullback this season to replace the suspended Zak Hardaker – is one of several players who could find their place under threat.

Of Roberts’ position at fullback, he said: “That’s one of the positions that’s under threat, and there are a few of them. The coaching group will have to make a collective decision in regards to what we do at fullback.

“Without a doubt there’ll be changes. You can’t come up with that and there not be people dropping out of the team. There were some poor performances in there. We had a lot of people play elsewhere (on dual-registration) at the weekend, and while I’m not going to say who the changes might be, I’m weighing up some positions and I’ll make sure I get that right. We’ll make sure we change the make-up of things.”

Powell also admitted that a long turnaround – it will be nine days between games for Castleford by the time they play Sunday – will be beneficial as the Tigers seek an instant response to claim their first win of 2018 at the second attempt.

He said: “We’ve trained well over the last couple of days. It was pretty disappointing, everyone agrees with that and it’s difficult to see past us going there and getting our backsides spanked. We’ll only know on Sunday really but the attitude to training has been awesome this week and you’re just looking to move on pretty quickly.

“I think it (the turnaround) is useful. It gives us a chance to do some hard work which was needed earlier this week and after having a day off on Wednesday, we’ll start focussing on Widnes and what will be a pretty important game. We’re proud of our home record and our standards – which we were quite a way off from last week.”