Super League: Daryl Powell has not given up hope of landing the League Leaders' Shield
Last Updated: 31/08/14 6:53pm
Castleford head coach Daryl Powell set his sights on stealing the League Leaders' Shield from St Helens' grasp after watching the Tigers move to within four points of the leaders with a 32-18 win over Bradford Bulls.
Powell's men were not at their free-flowing best, understandably so given their Challenge Cup final heartbreak last weekend, but they got the job done to remain in the hunt to finish top of Super League.
Castleford gave themselves a fighting chance thanks to tries from Andy Lynch, James Clare, Luke Dorn, Michael Shenton and Daryl Clark, a superb solo effort which eased the home side's nerves after a Lee Gaskell hat-trick had brought Bradford to within six points of the Tigers.
Wakefield are a dangerous animal and then it's Catalan away, so we've got a pretty tough finish. We've given ourselves a great opportunity.
Powell was pleased with the character shown by his side and quickly turned his attention to chasing down Saints, saying: “It was always going to be tough to back up after a Challenge Cup final, especially after a loss, and it took some responding to.
"It was paramount that we won the game and we did that. It was pretty hot out there today and probably the mental exertions as well as the physical ones took some dealing with.
"We've been quite critical and there was no point pussy footing around. The courage and character of the players was superb. We've been to a final and have got an opportunity in front of us now.
"Wakefield are a dangerous animal and then it's Catalan away, so we've got a pretty tough finish. We've given ourselves a great opportunity."
Bulls head coach James Lowes could not hide his disappointment after his side failed to make it four consecutive wins: “We were very poor in the first half. Everything about us was poor - slow passes, slow movement, we were soft in defence.
Lee Gaskell was very good in the second half. He's a runner, he's very good at running, and he took his chances extremely well on the back of some decent rugby from us.
Lowes on Gaskell
"We just didn't compete at all in that first half. We were at 50 per cent completion rate and we probably had to make double the tackles Castleford did.
"We never gave ourselves a chance so I'm very disappointed with that and the guys understand that we can't have that.
"Second half I thought we were great. We clawed our way back into the game with some great tries and playing some decent rugby as well.
"Then up stepped Daryl Clark and we completely switched off. He went away and the game changed from that point."
There was at least one positive for Bradford in Gaskell, who is tipped to take the Championship by storm next season.
Lowes said: "Lee Gaskell was very good in the second half. He's a runner, he's very good at running, and he took his chances extremely well on the back of some decent rugby from us."
Bradford entertain Widnes before bringing the curtain down on their Super League stay at London, who will be one of their rivals for promotion in 2015.