Castleford coach Daryl Powell admits he’s been impressed by the influence Steve Price has had on Warrington as they prepare to face the in-form Wolves tonight.
The Tigers know a win at Warrington would not only strengthen their grip on a play-off place, but potentially move them above Warrington into third should there be a sufficient swing in points difference.
Despite all that, however, Powell heaped praise on the Wolves – and said they are a genuine threat to the rest when it comes to the title picture this season.
“A new coach sometimes freshens things up on its own and he seems a pretty smart guy,” Powell said of Price.
“He’s come over and put his own mark on Warrington and they’re defending with an edge to them. They’ve got good players across the park, and some of the players who didn’t have their best years last year are playing really well.
“Kevin Brown didn’t settle in last year but he’s playing well – and Daryl Clark is back to his 2014 form. When they get into a groove, that can have a big impact on Super League.”
The Tigers head across the Pennines without a number of key players – including latest casualties Liam Watts and Jamie Ellis.
Despite that, however, Powell insists Castleford still have a squad capable of victory, saying: “We’re not helped with our injury list but I’m not making excuses.
“We’ve been through tough times before and it gives opportunities to other players like Q (Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e). It’s a chance for other lads to step up; Liam Watts is injured but again, it’s a chance for someone to come into the 17 and perform well.”
Those injuries mean a likely debut for QLT this evening – though Powell admits he’s not yet sure where he will feature in their line-up, with Greg Eden having impressed last week at Hull KR.
“He’s good,” Powell said of their recent acquisition.
“He’s an experienced player and he’s fitted in pretty well. He’s probably going to play this week so he needs to fit in quickly! But the boys like him, he knows a few of our players and he’s a good kid.
“I’ve got to make a final decision on who plays at half-back; whether it’s Paul McShane or someone else. But he’ll either play fullback or half-back.”