There was a real buzz around Castleford before kick-off on Thursday night; less than a week after demolishing a poor Leeds side at Newcastle's St James' Park in the annual Magic Weekend event, the Tigers were hosting this year's runaway leaders, St Helens. What should have been a side desperate for revenge after two humblings by the Saints already in 2018, the Tigers looked void of ideas and enthusiasm as St Helens simply blew Castleford away.

Magic Weekend hangover?

The Magic Weekend victory over Leeds had reignited the optimism around the town of Castleford after an inconsistent start to the season.

A 38-10 hammering of the Rhinos last weekend should have been the catalyst to kick-start the Tigers' charge for the top four, but the Tigers were beaten in every department by a red-hot Saints side that oozes class. Fullback Ben Barba was yet again in impressive form, but Jonny Lomax had a brilliant game at stand-off and time and again the scrum-capped halfback cut Castleford to pieces.

Leeds hangover in general?

The Tigers looked tired and lethargic after the Magic Weekend and this got me thinking, do Castleford - and Powell himself - have trouble motivating themselves for games following their clashes with Leeds - fixtures in which every player undoubtedly raises their game?

In their past 11 meetings, the Tigers have won ten - the 2017 Grand Final the anomaly - but Castleford have won eight out of 11 in the round after their meetings with Leeds.

Now though this doesn't seem too unerring, the three defeats saw the Tigers thrashed 47-12 by Wigan in the Super 8s in 2015, hammered by Catalans 41-22 in round eight of 2016 and the 18-40 debacle against Saints on Thursday.

Add into the mix the fact that the Tigers only just beat Saints in round 19 of 2015 (25-24) after a 24-31 victory over Leeds, Widnes in round 15 of 2017 (32-22) following a 29-18 victory over Leeds, Hull FC in round 19 of 2017 after cruising to a 12-23 win over the Rhinos and Wakefield in round six of this year (6-11) after beating Leeds at Elland Road and it is clear that Castleford definitely struggle a week after playing Leeds.

Whether this is a mentality issue - the thinking that no team is more important to beat than Leeds for a Castleford player or indeed Powell himself - or a physical problem - the players may have raised their game so much that they are not capable of reaching that limit the week after - it arguably needs to be looked at.

Horror show

Castleford have failed to hit the heights of 2017 thus far in 2018, but the Tigers have saved their worst performances for the best team in the league. Jonny Lomax and co. ran rings around the Castleford defence, exploiting gaping holes all along the defensive line. Castleford's front-row forwards once again looked decent, but there is a fundamental issue surrounding the backline. Greg Minikin should have had a hat-trick, but poor finishing let him down, Michael Shenton did not look too bad at fullback, but it was obvious that it is not his natural position.

Ben Roberts - starting in the centre after returning from injury - was once more led down the tunnel after pulling his hamstring and halfbacks Jamie Ellis and Jake Trueman looked like rabbits caught in the headlights opposite Saints' Danny Richardson and Lomax.

Yes, referee Chris Kendall made some infuriating calls, but he did not miss tackles nor leave massive holes in the defensive line. The Tigers looked the shadow of the side that tore Leeds apart in Newcastle and the only thing more embarrassing than the end result was Daryl Powell's short, cutting interview once the final whistle had gone.

I can totally understand Powell's frustration - his words "we can't defend, Saints were great and I don't know what's happening with referees at the moment" generated an upsurge of criticism on social media - but the words he chose weren't exactly the most sportsmanlike. He must feel like hitting his head against a brick wall; from euphoria to despair in just five days, Powell still has his work cut out to turn Castleford in a silverware-hunting side.