Daryl Powell: Castleford coach says Tigers’ form has allayed fears about timing of exit announcement

Castleford coach Daryl Powell is relieved the announcement of his end-of-season departure has not had a negative effect on his team, who made it two wins out of two with an 18-10 derby triumph over Leeds.

Powell is making a special effort to enjoy his farewell season but says he was initially concerned about the timing of the news.

“I was a little bit worried about when to put the announcement out,” he said. “I don’t think there’s ever a great time.

“I did have some concerns but they’ve been allayed over the last couple of weeks.

“I have a good relationship with the boys, they know that I love them and I love watching them play the game.

“I was hoping the response would be what we’ve got. We’ve won our first couple of games and set ourselves up for what hopefully is going to be an outstanding season.”

Castleford, who began the season with an impressive win over Warrington, made a lively start against Leeds and led 12-0 after 22 minutes thanks to tries from Oliver Holmes and Niall Evalds.

However, Leeds got the deficit down to two points through scores from Luke Briscoe and Matt Prior before Tigers’ makeshift winger Jordan Turner sealed their fate 10 minutes from the end.

“It was a tough game today, especially after a five-day turnaround,” Powell said.

“I don’t think we were ever at our best with the ball but we were really tough defensively and we had to be because we turned the ball over in poor positions at times.

“I thought the character in our team was strong. Obviously we’ve started the season off pretty positively and we’re conceding few points but we certainly need to improve.”

Leeds have been badly hit by injuries already and the late withdrawal of Richie Myler left them with just two players from their first-choice back division.

However, teenager Jack Broadbent switched effortlessly from centre to fourth-choice full-back and belied his inexperience with an accomplished display that highlighted a gallant effort against the odds.

Rhinos coach Richard Agar was impressed with the 19-year-old, who is likely to remain at full-back for the Challenge Cup tie against St Helens next week with Myler set to be sidelined for another fortnight.

“We had a fair amount of strike missing but I thought Jack really tried his socks off,” Agar said. “He brought some energy to our team.

“It was a tough baptism for Corey (Hall) but it’s all part of the learning curve and Corey and Jack will be better for the experiences.

“The situation is probably not going to improve over next two or three weeks so we’ve got to work our way through it.”

Leeds had their chances but Agar had no complaints over the result.

“I don’t think there was much in the game,” Agar said. “I thought we worked hard, we never stopped trying to win the game.

“It was a real ding-dong affair. I thought we were gaining some momentum and there were a couple of opportunities we should be taking in a tight game.

“Ultimately our start to the game hurt us in the end but I want to give credit to the opposition, they defended their tryline really well.”

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