7th July 2018, 09:52 | Castleford

Powell calls on Tigers to focus on themselves

Powell calls on Tigers to focus on themselves

Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell is urging his players not to be distracted by the coaching overhaul at Leeds Rhinos as they prepare for another Grand Final re-match.

Powell is preparing to do battle with Kevin Sinfield, the man he appointed as captain of Leeds in 2003 and who has now returned to the club as their first-ever director of rugby.

Sinfield and first-team coach James Lowes, appointed between them to succeed Brian McDermott, will take charge for the first time in Sunday's West Yorkshire derby at the Mend-a-Hose Jungle.

A new coach often provides teams with a much-needed pick-me-up but Powell is hoping this game will come too soon for the new men to have much of an impact.

"It's very difficult in a week to change their team too much but all we can do is focus on ourselves," Powell said.

"When Leeds played St Helens a few weeks ago they were the better team pretty much right through the game and should have won, and that's the kind of game we should be expecting from Leeds on Sunday.

"And we have to respond to what we delivered last week."

Castleford's four-match unbeaten run which lifted them into the top four came to an end with their 44-16 defeat by Catalans Dragons in Perpignan, and that prompted Powell to get his players together for a pep talk.

"We held a focus meeting this week on what we've got left this season," he said.

"We're starting to get to the point now when you're shooting for top four and you can see what is capable of happening if we get it right.

"It was a little bit of a re-focus, we always do it about this time of the year and it just left like a perfect time.

"Two seasons ago we were in the mix and did a similar thing.

"It sets out the platform, what we want to achieve, so there's a few bits and pieces in there which will hopefully drive the players to achieve a common goal, which is an obvious one for us."

The Tigers have won 10 of their last 11 meetings with the Rhinos but the one loss clearly still hurts as they look to go one better than their 2017 Grand Final runners-up spot.

Huddersfield Giants' win over Hull FC on Thursday night saw Leeds drop into the bottom four for the first time this year but they are still three points ahead of Salford Red Devils, who face Hull KR at KCOM Craven Park on Sunday.

The Red Devils have won their last three meetings with the Robins, whose last win was in the Super 8s Qualifiers in August, 2016.