Castleford Tigers have come in for praise for their efforts this season from the head coach of a rival Super League team.
Tony Smith’s Warrington Wolves side may have knocked the Tigers out of the Super League play-offs and ended their season, but he was in no doubt that the turn round by Cas in 2014 was one of the stories of the year in rugby league.
He said: “It’s been a fantastic season for Cas. They’ve been a real breath of fresh air for the Super League.
“They’ve been up there and challenging at the top.
“After the challenge Cup final they haven’t quite regained that momentum that they had and it’s tough, having not done it ourselves yet - and we were off the back of wins.
“When you lose you lose some of your focus in some ways.
“One of the difficulties can be the heights of big games like that then just come back to regular games. They haven’t quite found that.
“I don’t want to take anything away from Cas’s efforts or their season, they’ve been fantastic.”
Smith felt his side were always the likely winners of their game against Castleford last week, but praised the Tigers further for staying in the game for so long before late tries took the Wolves to a 30-14 victory.
“I thought we were committed defensively and it was defence that won us the game.
“We were confident of scoring points later in the match having watched Cas in recent times.
“I want to give them credit for keeping the match tight. I didn’t feel like we were ever going to be in a position where we weren’t either going to score points or lose the match, but all credit to Cas, they kept it tight and tense and sometimes things can go wrong when you keep it that tight and tense.”