Castleford ran out 21-12 winners against Warrington today, and head coach Daryl Powell was very happy with how his side reorganised after losing Gareth O’Brien to injury.
“I thought we did a good job of it today; I thought we got rattled a bit with Gaz O’Brien leaving the field and we were forced into an early reshuffle.
“We put Macca (Paul McShane) at halfback and Adz (Adam Milner) jumped in at 9, but it always seems to happen with us at Warrington – we play with one half or none.
Though O’Brien left the field, Powell was quick to downplay any lasting effects.
“He’s just disappointed, he wants to play and he won’t be able to play on Friday either so it’s obviously disappointing.
“But it’s a long season and he’ll get plenty of opportunities.”
The Castleford boss was also quick to praise Jake Trueman for the way he handled the pressure once O’Brien left the field, as well as giving special mention to Niall Evalds on his competitive debut.
“I thought Trueman kicked really well today, he caused them a fair bit of trouble. He’s just a class player isnt he?
“Niall spent a fair weeks in pre-season building up his combinations and you could see today that he fits in with us.
“His passes for tries were great and he looked electric on the ball.”
With Gareth O’Brien in the starting 17, it meant Danny Richardson sat out. But, Powell explained that this was down to the halfback’s fitness and injury.
“Danny has been injured, he had a wrist injury about 3 or 4 weeks ago so he’s been in a cast for three weeks, but he’s just coming out of that now.
“I made a decision that he isn’t quite ready and obviously Gaz has done a full pre-season, he played in the Hull KR friendly and today I thought he backed that up with the way he played.
“He defended really tough and stopped Ben Currie doing what he wanted to do – Danny will play a big part in our season too.”
Jordan Turner also started on the wing in the absence of Sosaia Feki, James Clare and Greg Eden, but Powell was keen to stress this would be something that he may use again throughout the year.
“We lost Sosaia Feki and James Clare in pre-season and Greg Eden was pretty close to fitness, but we decided to go with a system with Shenny and Turenr swapping over between the wing and centre.
“They mix it around a little bit and it worked well today – Turner has been awesome since he came to the club, his attitude has been great, he’d play anywhere for us.
“It was something we thought about when we lost Sosaia and Clare; the one thing about Jordan is he’s an unbelievable talker in defence and a great decision-maker.
“It gives us food for thought and another option in terms of putting our best players out there.”
Jacques O’Neill left the field shortly after coming on, with what Powell described as a stomach issue.
“He had some kind of stomach complaint, I don’t really know.
“That impacted on us a little bit as we made a sub we didn’t want to make.”