Castleford Tigers Head Coach Daryl Powell has spoken highly of his young players, after their performance against Widnes.
Powell sent a young squad over the Pennines to take on the Vikings at the DCBL Stadium on Sunday.
The Tigers were beaten 32-10 against a strong Vikings side.
He said: “It wasn’t about the result today. It was about giving these young players an opportunity against a first team, and Widnes are a good side with some quality players in there. So it was a good challenge for us.
“I thought physicality wise, we found it difficult. I thought we troubled Widnes at times, but we couldn’t really sustain it. But some great lessons for us.”
Castleford started both halves by conceding tries. Jake Spedding scored with less than a minute gone in the first half, and Jack Johnson scored three minutes into the second half.
“We started both halves pretty slow, so there’s some mentality things that we need to make sure we improve on leading into games.
It was a young team that Powell had sent out, with four players stepping up from the U16s side from last year.
“I’m just really pleased with the young guys as much as anything.” Powell continued.
“We’ve got some 16-17-year-old kids in there, playing against men. They’ve played in the First Team before they’ve played in the academy.
“Overall, I’m pleased, but a little bit disappointed in a few players. I wanted a few of the players who are closer to the first team to play better than what they did, but that’s life.
He also confirmed that most first team players would be back for the Tigers’ pre-season friendly against Toronto Wolfpack. The match will also be Michael Shenton’s testimonial.
“Next week we’ve got our final pre-season game. It will be the first time our first team has played, so I’m looking forward to that.”