Blogs & Opinion


Phil Clarke:

Most Popular Posts:

Recent Comments:

Trevor Fuller on Running on empty

"Hi Phil, Another interesting & thought-provoking article here! One thing I'd like to know is, if you compare this situation currently with clubs in the NRL in Australia or New ... " View all comments

Daryl Powell must boost Castleford confidence, says Phil Clarke

Phil Clarke Posted 8th May 2013 view comments

Can the Castleford Tigers make the top eight? Are they capable of doing this year what Wakefield did last?

It seems a long shot when you consider that they are currently 12th in the table and have just three wins and a draw from the first 14 games but the appointment of Darryl Powell as their new coach this week gives them a psychological boost and they've started to develop their own momentum with two wins in the last three. (It possibly could have been three from three if they'd been against the Reds with just 13 defenders in front of them, not 14 at Salford recently)

Can Powell get Castleford into the play-offs?

Can Powell get Castleford into the play-offs?

They were a competitive team at the start of the season when they managed to beat Leeds and draw with Catalans at home. They also went close to beating or drawing with Wigan after a brilliant comeback against the Warriors. It took a late try from Chris Tuson to secure the two competition points for Wigan.

For some reason the wheels fell off at Hull and seven losses in a row affected the team's confidence. But they have some good players and traditionally have a tough character that makes them a competitive force.

Underdogs

So what would they need to do to make the top eight in 2013? By my reckoning they'll have to win 10 of their remaining 13 games. That's a lot, I know, but they have the advantage of being underdogs in every match and a new voice to help them regain their confidence.

It's easy for me to write it here, and I know how difficult it will be to put into practice, but the Tigers need to find a way of saving tries, not scoring them. That is the biggest challenge for Daryl Powell. Can the players who have been missing tackles, start to make them?

Phil Clarke
Quotes of the week

The FOR and AGAINST column in the league table usually provides an accurate picture of where the teams will end up at the end of the season. At present their attack hasn't been as dangerous as it would need to be, but they've shown in their last three games that this might be improving. Ok, it's true that the 17 tries in those games have been against three teams in the bottom half of the table and they'll need to beat the teams in the top half if they are to make it to the play-offs, but they've already proved what's possible at the start of the season.

It's easy for me to write it here, and I know how difficult it will be to put into practice, but the Tigers need to find a way of saving tries, not scoring them. That is the biggest challenge for Daryl Powell. Can the players who have been missing tackles, start to make them?

I think that we all love to see the underdog do well in life - the Rocky film is the perfect example - and the Tigers are certainly that this season. I hope that under Powell they give us some magic moments, plus one or two upsets in the second half of the season. The Super League season needs it.

Castleford can effectively split the season in two, the half time hooter has just sounded after a rocky period and they've got a chance to address their weaknesses and improve their strengths. Good luck to them and good luck to Daryl. I have always found him to be a hardworking, honest and dedicated man and I'd like to see him do well.

Next up in Super League is an easy trip to the South of France for a date with the Dragons. Win there and they might just start to believe themselves. Do they still have the eye of the Tiger?

back to top

Other Rugby League Experts:

Latest Posts in Rugby League:

Phil Clarke

To Hull and back

Phil Clarke looks at the mental damage done to Hull FC and Huddersfield in the Challenge Cup....

Latest News RSS feeds

Clinical Rhinos blitz Bulls

Ryan Hall scored a hat-trick of tries to help Leeds crush Bradford 46-6 in a one-sided derby at the Provident Stadium.

Dragons hold off Broncos

London Broncos suffered their ninth Super League defeat in a row this season, losing 28-22 at home to Catalan Dragons.

Hall the hero for Rovers

Craig Hall slotted over a last-minute drop goal to give Hull KR a 21-20 win over Hull FC at the KC Lightstream Stadium.

Super League live!

Join our live interactive coverage on a busy day of Good Friday action

Cummins: It's all going wrong

Bradford coach Francis Cummins was left cursing his luck after his injury-hit side suffered a sixth straight defeat.

Features

Super League: Rob Burrow to make his 400th Leeds Rhinos appearance on Thursday

Super League: Rob Burrow to make his 400th Leeds Rhinos appearance on Thursday

The milestones keep coming in rugby league. Last week Paul Wellens became Super League’s all-time leading appearance maker, while Jamie Peacock played his 500th game in the sport.

Good week/Bad week: The winners and losers from the last sporting week

Good week/Bad week: The winners and losers from the last sporting week

It's been another incredible week of sport from Augusta to Anfield via Andalusia, but for every sporting hero there must be a villain.

Super League XVIV: Tony Rea looks at big weekends for Paul Wellens and Jamie Peacock

Super League XVIV: Tony Rea looks at big weekends for Paul Wellens and Jamie Peacock

St Helens shine on Paul Wellens' big day, but Cas earn plaudits, too