23rd March 2016, 12:13

super_league

Powell expects Cas to raise game against Leeds

The Tigers' early-season wobble hit a low with last Friday's humiliating 56-12 defeat at Warrington Wolves...

The Tigers' early-season wobble hit a low with last Friday's humiliating 56-12 defeat at Warrington Wolves, after which Powell apologised to their fans, but he is hoping the intense rivalry of a derby with the reigning First Utility Super League champions will help them stop the rot.

"We've got a lot to do after last week to get some pride back," Powell said. "We've had a pretty honest week and I'm confident after watching the players train today.

"It's a local derby, we're at home and the place is going to be packed. It's a key game for us. It's against the team that all Castleford fans want us to beat more than any other."

Castleford's stand-in captain Luke Gale knows about the rivalry with his home-town club as much as anyone.

It's a local derby, we're at home and the place is going to be packed. It's a key game for us.

Daryl Powell

"It would be good to bounce back against your local rivals," said Gale, a product of the Headingley academy who played for Doncaster, London Broncos and Bradford Bulls before joining the Tigers at the start of last season.

"It's not been a happy place this week but it's a real good chance to bounce back.

"I played for Leeds, I grew up in Leeds and I'm a Leeds lad. I just think everyone gets up for a Leeds game and we've done well in the past against them.

"I'm good friends with Danny McGuire and it would be good to get one over on him. I think he'll be back to give them some guidance." 

McGuire, who was a late withdrawal from last Friday's win over St Helens, is finally expected to return from a knee injury sustained in the Rhinos' opening game of the season while Gale could have his half-back partner Ben Roberts alongside him after missing the last two games with a foot injury.

"It would be massive if we got him back," Gale said. "If any team loses a half-back, they struggle.

"We were just getting a good combination going. He started the season off really well."

Already without Michael Shenton, Oliver Holmes, Junior Moors and Luke Dorn, Castleford have lost Frankie Mariano and Matt Cook for this game but Powell is not looking for excuses.

"We're a little bit low on personnel but Leeds have been too and they found it tough, although they've named a pretty strong squad for this one," Powell said.

"We've still got a very good squad that will take the field. Obviously we need to respond from what we did last week, that goes without saying. It's crucial for us."

Leeds look sure to be without winger Ryan Hall but should have fellow England international Tom Briscoe back from a six-week injury lay-off to help plug the gap.

"I'm really exited to get back out there and do what I can to help the team," said Briscoe, who sustained a leg injury in the second round at Widnes Vikings.

"It's been really tough. I went through it last year when we were winning games, and it's on the flip side this year, we've not been doing so well.

"You'd like to think you could improve the team but you never know until you're out there and the main thing is to get out there."