Daryl Powell’s spell at Castleford Tigers saw him take a somewhat ordinary team all the way to the Grand Final, doing so playing some of the most entertaining rugby that Super League has seen, however the fairy-tale came to a close with defeat at Old Trafford to Leeds Rhinos.
Either way that 2017 season for the Tigers is one that will long in the memory of rugby league fans, not just Castleford fans, as it saw a free-flowing attack that was orchestrated by the likes of Luke Gale, Zak Hardaker and Paul McShane and saw Greg Eden register an incredible 38 tries.
Those huge credentials at Castleford earned Powell the keys to the Halliwell Jones as he took over Warrington Wolves ahead of the 2022 season with big expectations.
It’s fair to say that season one was nothing short of a disaster with the club registering just nine wins all season and being in a relegation scrap, registering their lowest Super League finish on record in eleventh.
Year two started off far better and the feel good vibes were back with Wire winning their opening eight and looking destined for a return to playoff football.
Fast forward to Sunday afternoon and they’d just lost their sixth game in a row, marking a run of three wins in twelve, at the hands of bottom of the league Wakefield Trinity 42-6.
Just four hours later it was confirmed that Powell had been relieved of his duties with the club teetering on the edge of the playoffs in sixth place.
Ironically Wakefield’s big win put Powell’s former team Castleford in a more difficult situation, the Tigers sitting in eleventh level on points with Wakey and having just 12 points advantage in the points difference tally.
With fans at the Jungle getting frustrated at the lack of progress under Andy Last this led to calls for Powell to return, with many fans on social media backing the suggestion claiming that something needed to be done to avaoid relegation.
One man who knows Powell incredibly well and has advocated for him as a coach is former Tigers CEO Steven Gill, who worked with the club from 2013 to 2018 throughout Powell’s stint as head coach.
Gill has now tweeted that ‘it isn’t the right time to hire Powell’.
Just to clear things up . Would I have Darryl Powell as my head coach? You bet , would it be the right time for him to return to @CTRLFC No , now is the time for him to take a break, re-charge and evaluate. #Gotigers
— Steven Gill (@StevenG72629899) July 31, 2023
Whilst it’s an understandable opinion given the intense 18 months that Powell has undergone at the Halliwell Jones, fans in the replies were keen to point out that something clearly does need to change at Wheldon Road.
Mean while we plod along with a coach out of his depth and get relegated….. result
— jonny haigh (@jonny120305) July 31, 2023