Powell previews knockout match against Hull

Posted: Wednesday 4th September 2019 - 11:06 PM

Simply put Thursday night’s game against Hull FC is a must-win match for Castleford, victory would leapfrog the Tigers above the Black & Whites in the table with one game of the season remaining.

Tigers Head Coach Daryl Powell spoke to Tigers TV ahead of this knockout fixture.

Q: Is this a straight shoot out for the play-offs Daryl?

“It is for us because if we lose it we are four points behind the top five and we can’t get in, so for us it is absolutely crucial I think. For Hull they will see it that way because they have got St Helens for their last game, we’ve got Wigan away and both teams can win those, this is a massive game. Points difference wise we’re far superior to Hull at the moment with something like 150 points between us. We need to win the game I thought the last few weeks we’ve been defending like it’s a play-off situation and we’re going to need that again as it is like a play-off game this one.”

Q: Having this game at home then are you hoping for an intimidating atmosphere?

“Big game, it’s like a knockout game for us and the fans are always a big difference for us and I think at home making this like place like a fortress will make it feel like something special, could do with a special environment and feel on Thursday. Hopefully as a team we’re going to be able to come up with the performance that reflects the support that we get.”

Q: What were your thoughts following last week’s match against St Helens? Despite the result was it good preparation for this week’s match?

“The game was intense, it was tough, it was fast and we played against St Helens numerous times this year and they’ve just been way too good for us but there is a definite progression in being able to hang about when the game is just whack, whack, whack and consistent. I thought we did that really well and we created opportunities, but we couldn’t get the ball over the line, so I thought we got a lot from it. Defensively we’re not conceding points which is great, that’s something which has been a criticism of ours in the past. I thought we learnt a lot from it, disappointed to lose you are never happy to lose but sometimes you’ve got to cop it on the chin that the opposition have been a little bit too good for and I don’t think that was the case. On the stats we had won pretty much everything, but we couldn’t the ball down, ten line breaks to one, a mountain of possession and more yards than St Helens we did a good job in all sorts of areas but ultimately we came up empty.”

Q: Matt Cook has his voice back so will he be back in the match day squad?

“It was a bit of a positive at first when Cooky lost his voice because he talks a hell of a lot, could do with him passing it onto Jesse, but Cooky is back talking with his old sense of humour back into the environment and he’ll be available but he hasn’t played a lot in recent weeks so I’ll make a decision as we move to the end of the week.”

Q: Castleford have faced Hull FC three times this season, what are your thoughts on the Airlie Birds form?

“They’ve got some really dangerous players across the team, pretty powerful group of men but they’ve had some blowouts where they’ve lost heavily, maybe three or four of those where you go ‘wow where did that come from?’ after being outstanding one week to getting belted the week after. They are a good side, dangerous and we need to play well there is no point looking at those blowout losses, just focus on ourselves to make sure we play as well as we can and that we’ve got an intent about us that Hull can’t manage.”

Q: How big of an achievement would it be to get into the play-offs after a tough season?

“We’ve been in and around the play-offs since 2014 and this is a good opportunity for us to continue in that vein and obviously it’s been a frustrating season in some ways with a lot of injuries and loads of different combinations, we’ve had to ask players to step up like Jake Trueman for example to really lead the team as a young player so it’s been an interesting season but we’ve got an opportunity to be in the five, this is game is absolutely massive and we need to get it right.”

Help make the Jungle intimidating for Hull FC on Thursday night, get your tickets online now to save a bit of money or pay on the turnstiles tomorrow. Let’s make our ground an absolute fortress and #BeTheDifference!

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