sport

Powell stands by Tigers selection

Castleford coach Daryl Powell was disappointed with his team's 48-10 Super League defeat at Warrington but insisted there were no regrets over his decision to field a weakened team.

Powell rested six members of his likely Challenge Cup final team and, although his makeshift line-up were far from disgraced, they could not match their opponents' superior finishing as they conceded eight tries.

With one eye on the Wembley showdown with Leeds on Saturday week, Powell made nine changes to the side that won the semi-final against Widnes, giving a first start to full-back Ben Reynolds and debuts to young forwards Brad Day and Will Maher off the bench in the second half.

"It's a little bit disappointing," Powell said. "We were a bit unlucky with the scoreline, I don't think that was a fair reflection. We put a team out there that I thought should have competed a little bit better.

"But there were some good bits out there and to see those two young kids out there having a pop was great. I thought Brad Day did really well and big Will Maher will learn a lot from that.

"I think we had to be sensible with team selection, I never like losing, to be honest, particularly not in that manner, but sometimes you've got to cop a whack on the chin to get the bigger prize."

Castleford emerged injury-free from Friday night's game and Powell said he will give prop Craig Huby "as long as he needs" to prove his fitness after dislocating an elbow in the semi-final last Sunday.

"We'll see how he pulls up towards the back end of the week," Powell said. "He will get as long as he needs, he's an important player for us."

Warrington easily reached the 29-point victory margin to leapfrog the Tigers into fourth place in the table but coach Tony Smith was not completely satisfied with the way they responded to their disappointing semi-final performance.

"We certainly got an improvement but there are some aspects I'm still not too happy with," he said. "We had to do way too much defence in the first half.

"But there was some good play as well and I thought our defence was pretty good."

Smith confirmed that scrum-half Richie Myler and prop Roy Asotasi, the former New Zealand Test captain, were both dropped after the 24-16 defeat by Leeds.

"Last week our half-backs didn't control the play enough so we tried a different combination," he concluded. "We have a lot of fresh bodies at the moment and lot of people vying for positions."