Powell baffled by away struggles
London Broncos coach Rob Powell says his team will be drawing on home comforts as they look to get off the mark against fellow Stobart Super League strugglers Castleford Tigers tomorrow.
The Broncos have lost all five games so far but it is only away from home that they have been comprehensively beaten.
They have produced their best football at the Twickenham Stoop, where they pushed St Helens and Huddersfield Giants all the way, and Powell is confident they can finally break their duck against the Tigers, who have lost their last four matches.
“We have performed very well in our two home games this season,” Powell said. “It is away games where we seem to be struggling so it is good that we are at home this weekend.
“We are looking at reasons for the away form. Obviously it is harder for ourselves and Catalan Dragons.
“Staying in a hotel for 24 hours before a game isn’t ideal as most clubs are just up and down the M62 corridor. We are looking at ways to try and improve that.
“Castleford are a good side with dangerous players but we are at home and should be confident.”
Tigers assistant coach Stuart Donlan, who will take temporary charge for the third and final time with Ian Millward set to return to work on Monday, believes his side are close to ending their losing streak.
“People are saying it will turn for them but it’s got to turn for us as well,” he said. “We’ve played some of the top teams in the last few weeks.
“There were a lot of positives to come out of the Leeds Rhinos game. We defended a lot better and I think the scoreline didn’t reflect the effort the lads put in.
“If we improve at the same rate, we should have no problems. This week is probably more vital to be doing the little things right.”
The Broncos are boosted by the return of long-serving forwards Tony Clubb and Karl Temata and promising utility back Dan Sarginson, who caught the eye after making his debut towards the end of last season.
“Clubby and Karl add size and go-forward while Sarg is clearly an exciting player who will be looking to build on last season’s performances because he adds a lot of spark,” said Powell.
Surprise package Salford City Reds have the chance to consolidate their top-eight place when they take on Catalan in Perpignan tomorrow looking for a fourth consecutive win.
City Reds coach Phil Veivers will be hoping his side can repeat last year’s victory at the Gilbert Brutus Stadium, although they will be without winger Jodie Broughton, scorer of all four tries in that 22-10 triumph.
“I’m over the moon with how we’re going,” he said. “We’re playing some entertaining football and defending okay. At the moment it’s all good.
“All we speak about is improving each week and we see this as a big test to see where we’re at.”
The Dragons, who are without six regulars through injury, lost their 100% record at Wigan Warriors last Sunday but Veivers is reading little into the result.
“It was a bit of a false impression,” he said. “They lost Ian Henderson in the first 10 minutes and he’s a major contributor to how they play.”
Something must give at Craven Park tomorrow when Hull KR, unbeaten at home so far, take on Bradford Bulls, whose only victories have come on their travels.
Rovers did the double over the Bulls last year, scoring 80 points in the process, but Bradford coach Mick Potter is firmly focused on building on last week’s battling defeat by Warrington Wolves.
“We’ve moved on,” he said. “I’d like to think we are more concerned about what happened last week than last season.
“They have much the same personnel but they have some new players in there and so have we. Last year is long gone now and we are totally focused on what this season can bring.”