Tigers boss Daryl Powell delighted following crucial victory at Salford

Castleford coach Daryl Powell was delighted with the 23-4 victory at Salford which puts the Tigers on the verge of securing silverware.

Daryl Powell will not accept any complacency as Castleford target silverware
Daryl Powell will not accept any complacency as Castleford target silverware

Only a freak sequence of results can deny Castleford the League Leader's Shield after their triumph at the AJ Bell Stadium.

Zak Hardaker scored two tries and made another as the Tigers took full advantage of Leeds' defeat at Wakefield on Thursday night.

He said: "Once we got control of our game and started maintaining possession we were fine. We had to work so hard defensively which was crucial because of the way we started the second half.

"It was a tough team performance but Zak Hardaker did some special things. Paul McShane was superb and Jy Hitchcox has been a real bonus for us. He was really good tonight.

"We couldn't be our normal selves and we had to adapt and adjust but we finished off the game real smart. I'm delighted we got the result."

Although Castleford are almost certain of finishing top, Powell will be making sure his players do not lose focus.

He said: "We want to get to a Grand Final and we have to be smart how we manage things. I would imagine Wakefield (who Castleford play next) are rubbing their hands together and will want to spoil any sort of party we might want to have.

"The League Leader's Shield is a piece of history and a massive tick for us - when it gets nailed on. We are looking to maintain our standards and that's the key now.

"There are further battles to be won. I'm conscious we don't start jumping up and down too much. If anyone has seen me playing tiddlywinks with my kids they'll know I don't take my foot off the gas.

"This season has got the chance to be extra special and we want to take that opportunity."

Salford coach Ian Watson was disappointed with the result - their eighth defeat from the last nine Super League games.

He said: "I thought the effort over 80 minutes was there. We were knocking on the door but we needed to turn opportunities into tries.

"We just couldn't manage that and that's credit to Castleford. In the first half we got some rough calls - I don't know how Manu Vatuvei's try which was disallowed in the first half wasn't given.

"We looked a bit more dangerous and if we stick with that effort going forward we will learn. We are missing a bit of know-how and need to be ruthless in our defence.

"But we are learning every week. It's tough for us because of the losing run we are on but I know we can turn it around.

"As a club we have progressed well as a club and team but we have to learn from games like tonight."