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- Tetleys Challenge Cup
- Fourth Round
- 14th Apr 2012
- KO 15:00
- Att: 4,165
Powell proud of troops
Featherstone coach hails victory over Super League neighbours
Former Great Britain international Daryl Powell spoke of his pride after watching his Featherstone side knock last year's semi-finalists Castleford out of the Carnegie Challenge Cup.
Powell acknowledged that the win over Super League neighbours Cas ranked amongst his greatest coaching achievements.
The former Sheffield Eagles stand-off, who won the Cup with Leeds at Wembley in 1999, coached the Rhinos to the 2003 final at the Millennium Stadium after earlier masterminding a shock win for Keighley over top-flight club Halifax.
But Powell could not hide his delight after his Featherstone team pulled off a stunning 23-16 win over Ian Millward's Castleford in a pulsating fourth-round tie at the Bigfellas Stadium.
"It's up there," he said. "It's a big effort for a club like us to beat a team like Castleford who have some special players.
"I think it's a statement. We're delighted because we've been poor against Super League opposition. We got hammered by St Helens and we got beat pretty easily by Leeds.
"I've always thought the players were better than that and we proved today we are. There were periods where I thought we were wavering a bit but we just kept turning up for each other."
Powell was especially thrilled with the way his side coped with the attacking prowess of Man of Steel Rangi Chase, especially after conceding 60 points at home to Sheffield Eagles in their previous game.
"It's pretty obvious the players were looking at this game," said Powell. "Whilst that's disappointing, they've backed it up by coming up with a performance.
"We applied a bit of pressure to Rangi Chase and I thought we handled him okay. We talked about getting under the skin and making life difficult for them and we did that pretty well.
"From a game plan point of view it was great but the effort and determination was top level."
Some of the shine was taken from Featherstone's victory by injuries to two of their key players.
"It looks like Tangi Ropati has broken his jaw, which is pretty disappointing, and Matty Dale has a medial ligament strain in his knee, so it's come at a bit of a cost," added Powell.
No excuses from Millward
Castleford, who went out to another Championship side, Barrow, two years ago, lost full-back Richard Owen and centre Kirk Dixon to injury early in the second half but coach Millward had no excuses for his side's defeat.
"Richie Owen probably shouldn't have played but he said he wanted to play," Millward said. "That's not the reason we lost the game. I still thought we were good enough with 15 to win.
"You've got to acknowledge how good Featherstone were. The only thing I was surprised about was us.
"From a mental point of view we fell very short. I thought we looked tired and I don't think anyone played to the best of their ability.
"In the first half our defence was poor and in the second half our attack was poor. That's what cost us.
"The disappointing thing is, if you look at our last four or five games, we've been on an upward spiral so to do that today showed a lack of respect for the opposition."Challenge Cup. Click here to bet.