Daryl Powell: Pre-season paying off for Tigers

Last Updated: 28/02/14 12:44pm

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Daryl Powell: His side have recorded back-to-back wins at the start of this season

Daryl Powell: His side have recorded back-to-back wins at the start of this season

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Castleford coach Daryl Powell feels his side are reaping the benefits of a good pre-season but is refusing to get carried away by their positive start to Super League XIX.

The Tigers have won both of their first two matches of the current campaign, claiming a 36-18 victory at Bradford in their opening game before beating Catalan Dragons 32-6.

After a poor first half of last season, Castleford's form improved under Powell, who replaced Ian Millward as head coach in early May.

And the 48-year-old feels the hard work done in his first pre-season at the club has enabled them to improve on their encouraging performances at the end of the previous campaign.

"I thought we should have won our last five games at the end of last season and we have started pretty well here so our form is good," said Powell. "I'm pleased but I'm not surprised.

"It backs up some of the work we have been doing in pre-season and we have given ourselves an opportunity."

However, having signed nine players in the off-season, including Ashley Gibson and Marc Sneyd from Salford and former London trio Luke Dorn, Scott Wheeldon, Michael Channing, Powell has strength in depth to prevent complacency in his first-choice 13.

"It is just about what you do on the grass," said Powell. "You can walk around town with your chest puffed out but that doesn't get you anything.

"I'm confident the players are where they need to be. We've got depth in our squad this year so if they are not somebody else will come in and do the job."

Last week, Justin Carney scored a hat-trick against Catalan Dragons and Powell admits the winger is proving a handful for opponents.

"He is a pretty big guy and alongside that he has electric speed," added Powell. "He is pretty combative and he likes to go at people.

"If you've got to deal with him you probably need a bit of assistance. He has got over the try line and got some good tries."

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