Happy Roberts wants to stay at Castleford

Ben Roberts.
Ben Roberts.

Samoa international half-back Ben Roberts is settled at Castleford and has indicated he would like to stay with the Tigers beyond this year.

Roberts, who has one year left to run on his current deal after signing from Melbourne Storm for the 2015 season, admitted his first year with Cas had been a bit “up and down”. But he was pleased with the way it went in the second half of the campaign and if it continues in this vein into 2016 he would be happy to sign another contract with the Tigers.

He told the Express: “I’m enjoying myself at the moment and I will just take it day by day and see how we go. But the way I’m feeling now I’m really enjoying it at Castleford and would like to stay.

“It’s important that my family have settled in well also. It took them a bit longer than expected, but they are good now.

“I really enjoy the area. The fans are fanatical and passionate about the club and you can just see the way they are off the field when we come off and just in general when you are walking round Castleford.

“To get a good win in front of our home crowd is always good.

“I’m looking forward to my second season with Castleford especially after the way we finished last year. We can’t wait to get back into it and start where we left off.

“My first year at the club was a bit of a challenge and for me personally it was a bit of an up and down season.

“I started off a bit slow, but then as the season went on I sort of found my feet and that’s why I’m looking forward to this year.”

Looking back on his first year with Cas, Roberts was surprised to find himself playing in a number of positions in the team, but was pleased to help out where needed.

He said: “It was a challenge for me to play in some new positions like hooker and full-back last year, but at the same time it was fun.

“I probably feel most comfortable at stand-off because I’ve played most of my career there. But I enjoyed full-back as well last year so it’s all good.

“I scored some good tries, but it comes down to the way the team finished off and worked together. We really clicked. It was a shame it took a bit longer than we would have hoped, but I suppose that’s what makes the game so interesting to watch.

“People still bring it up about my drop-goal (last second match winner against St Helens) and I enjoyed that, but hopefully it won’t come to anything like that and we can win more comfortably this year.”

Roberts formed an exciting half-back partnership with Luke Gale in 2015 and is looking forward to continuing that this year, although he acknowledges he faces competition for his place from season-long loan signing Ryan Hampshire.

He added: “It was great to play with Luke Gale last year. We formed a pretty good partnership in the back half of the season and we are a lot closer than we were last year.

“We’re miles ahead of where we were this time last year and it makes it exciting, we’re always talking about how we can’t wait to get out there playing.

“It’s good to have competition for your place. Sometimes you need that to bring the best out of you and stay on top of your game and young Rocky (Ryan Hampshire) is doing a good job and will keep me on my toes.”