Powell backing Cas to bounce back from Grand Final misery

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Daryl Powell is hopeful his Castleford Tigers side can use last year's Grand Final heartbreak as motivation when they aim to make another flying start to a Super League campaign.

The Tigers were a class apart in the 2017 regular season and cantered to the League Leaders' Shield after building on a run of eight wins in their first nine games.

However, Castleford could not secure Grand Final glory in October, losing emphatically to Leeds Rhinos.

Powell's men will begin the 2018 season on Friday away at St Helens, the team they dramatically beat to earn a place at Old Trafford.

Asked whether they will be spurred on by their loss to Leeds, Powell told Omnisport: "That's the challenge for us, to make sure that drives us. Everything I've seen from the players so far is [suggesting] that's gonna happen.

"You don't know until you get out there, we had an awesome pre-season last year and you could see that when we hit the ground and we started playing. We're looking for something similar this year.

"We've got a big old challenge straight off the bat against St Helens and it should be an awesome game."

Powell acknowledges Castleford will get an immediate idea of where they stand after facing the Saints, one of their fellow favourites to win this year's competition.

"We know it's going to be tough and we'll certainly know where we're at after that game because St Helens, everbody's talking them up," added the Tigers head coach.

"They'll be confident and it's difficult [in] the first game because you don't get too much of a look at the opposition, they haven't played too much, you can't get too much video evidence so you've got to be on your toes."