Powell expecting update on Zak Hardaker future 'pretty quickly'

Castleford Tigers head coach Daryl Powell expects details regarding Zak Hardaker's future to emerge "pretty quickly", following the star full-back's stunning omission from Saturday's Grand Final defeat to Leeds Rhinos.

The Tigers went down 24-6 at Old Trafford on Saturday, just two days after former Leeds player Hardaker had been sensationally ruled out of the fixture due to a "breach of club rules".

Both Castleford and Hardaker have so far remained tight-lipped on the precise reasons for the England full-back being made unavailable for selection.

In a news conference following his side's loss to the Rhinos, Powell was predictably asked about what will happen next in terms of Hardaker's future.

"I can't really comment - I think it will come out in due course, probably pretty quick, I would say, but it's nothing to do with me, that," replied the Tigers coach.

"You'll all be aware of that pretty quickly, I think."

Powell bemoaned his side's error-strewn performance, which offered a sharp contrast to the majority of their displays in 2017.

Castleford stormed to the League Leaders' Shield, winning a host of games comprehensively along the way including a 66-10 thrashing of Leeds in March, but were well short of their best in sodden conditions at Old Trafford on their Grand Final debut.

"We might have had 10 or 11 players having their worst game of the season tonight," suggested Powell. "If that happens you're not going to get anything out of a big game.

"[They were] obviously tough conditions ... but it was hugely disappointing that we made 18 errors, 10 in the second half. I didn't think we could get any worse than we were in the first with ball retention, but we managed to achieve that.

"I'm just disappointed that we didn't really do ourselves justice - if we'd have been able to do that and had got beat, then you can hold your hands up and say fair enough, but obviously Leeds didn't see the best of us.

"They obviously massively deserved the win because we were nowhere near. But I don't think they had much to beat and that's the biggest disappointment from our perspective."

Nevertheless, Powell hopes Castleford's players can take the positives from their best year in Super League.

"We've had a special season - absolutely no doubt. This will hurt for a long time but I would like them to remember how outstanding they have and we have been this year," he added.

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