Daryl Powell and Shaun Wane have played down any talk of a rivalry between their sides ahead of Castleford’s trip to Wigan on Thursday night.
The clash has been eagerly anticipated for some weeks now, not least due to the strong starts to the season from both sides – prior to injury-hit Wigan’s dip in form.
There have been flashpoints between the two coaches in recent years too, which has led many to hype this up as a rivalry of sorts. Yet Powell, who will aim to solidify Cas’ position at the top of the league on Thursday, said there’s nothing too much to read into it.
“It’s just competitive – he’s competitive, I’m competitive,” he said.
“We’ve had some great battles over my time at Cas and he’s been at Wigan a long time. We’re both pretty proud of the clubs we represent and that’s it. That’s all it is.
“Yes, it’s intense and there’s a really good rivalry there. I think it’s been built up a bit, but we’ve just been trying to focus on one game at a time.”
And Wane himself has played down any talk of this being a ‘grudge match’.
“There’s no grudge, I’m a big admirer of the way they play,” he said.
“I don’t know Daryl, but I’ve got loads of respect for the club and they’re the best team in the competition. They’re killing everyone, only Salford have beat them.”