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Daryl Powell blasts “unbelievably unacceptable” thrashing

Daryl Powell cut an incredibly disappointed figure as he faced the press following Castleford’s drubbing by Leeds, bemoaning his side’s performance.

“That was tough to watch, right from the start even though we scored first,” Powell said.

“Our team is lacking any kind of fluency and consistency.

“I’m not excusing anything tonight, we were really poor defensively.

“I’m a proud man and always have been, but that was so disappointing tonight, it’s hard to put into words.

“In 2017, we played against Leeds and beat them by 60-odd points and then they beat us in the Grand Final that year.

“It’s a terrible loss, but it’s not the end of the world.”

Powell is hoping for better next week in the Challenge Cup semi-final clash with Warrington, even though his side are littered with injuries.

“It’s a tough team to pick at the moment, we started the season really well and now we’ve lost our last three.

“Its been almost impossible, I thought Peter Mata’utia was going to pull out before the game with his back – we’ve got an opportunity to put that straight next week.

“It’s a great opportunity against a team that is bang in form; clearly, no one will give us a chance next week and we’ve got to get ourselves ready for a huge game.

“We have to remain calm and focus on what we do from here on in – it is a reality that for some players they are looking towards next week, but ultimately I’ve got to put a team out there that can defend better than that tonight.

“Some people’s defensive efforts tonight were unbelievably unacceptable – I need to pick a team that can defend.

“We’ve got three-quarters of our spine missing tonight and then I took Danny Richardson off and put Paul McShane to half – we ended up conceding numerous tries and I felt like we needed to make a change there.

“Leeds had a much stronger team than us on the field tonight and that’s the reality of the situation.

Powell insists all is not lost despite the manner in which his side capitulated.

“We can jump up and down and pull that game apart piece by piece and analyse everything, but the players have to get their heads in the right place, work hard and trust each other that we can do the job.

“In round one, we were capable of beating Warrington and we’ve gradually lost player after player.

“If you look at our teamsheet in the past few weeks you’ll see we’ve lost a lot of players and that’s a fact.

“The fans can’t be anymore frustrated than me; when the fans have come back in we haven’t performed and that’s not something we wanted to happen.

“We need to put it all behind us – we win a game next week and everyone’s smiling again.”

The Castleford boss does hope to have a number of players fit and raring to go for the semi-final next weekend.

“I’m hoping Niall Evalds will be fit and Jake Trueman as well as Nathan Massey, Oliver Holmes, Adam Milner and Michael Shenton.

“They are all players that should be available next week, but we’ve got some young players out there who are finding their place in the team and the game.

“I’m not blaming them boys for that tonight, but Greg Eden did his hamstring again and James Clare went of with a head knock.”

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