Castleford Tigers: Jordan Rankin aiming for repeat success against a former club

Jordan Rankin in action against Huddersfield Giants last week. Picture: Matthew Merrick
Jordan Rankin in action against Huddersfield Giants last week. Picture: Matthew Merrick

After coming out on top against one of his former clubs last week Jordan Rankin is aiming to repeat the feat when up against Hull FC for Castleford Tigers tonight.

Rankin returned to the starting line-up in last Friday’s win over Huddersfield Giants and is now keen to play well against a Hull team with who he started his Super League career after coming over from Australia.

The half-back is looking to lock down a first team spot now he is free from an injury that kept him out of action for eight matches.

He said: “It’s an interesting time playing two of my old teams in the space of two weeks.

“Huddersfield was a good opportunity for us to right some wrongs that we had against St Helens at Magic Weekend. To do that in a pretty exciting fashion on Golden Point on Friday night was a thrilling way to end a pretty decent week’s training and get the two points.

“It was really good to be back starting. It’s taken a bit of time the last few weeks; having been out for six, seven, eight weeks has been frustrating, not being able to help the boys as much as I’d like to.

“But slowly over the last month it’s been progressively more minutes I’ve played and I finally filled that role of playing a full 80 minutes as a half.

“It’s something I really enjoyed and I was able to have a bit more of a say on how the game played out by the end. I was pretty happy with it.”

Rankin was one of the players to miss a drop-goal in extra-time against the Giants and he admitted to putting in some additional practice this week.

He said: “I was out there with Truey on Monday. We spoke about that and how we didn’t have our brightest moments when it came to field goals on Friday. But you can’t hit them all and luckily someone stepped up and it was good.

“It’s really whoever’s confident enough to take the shot really. It just sort of happened that we were in field position for Truey on the right side of the field for him to take a shot. He missed it and then he asked me if I wanted to take a shot. I said ‘yes’.

“I was pretty confident myself I’d be able to do it. It didn’t happen and then the next time around we sort of made a couple of breaks that led down field. I was out of position and Pete was in position to take it. Macca just threw the ball back to him, he had a shot and the rest is history really.”

The value of drop-goals has increased this season with the introduction of the golden point and Hull have one of the best in the business in Marc Sneyd as Rankin is aware.

He added: “It’s something Hull are really good at. Marc Sneyd is good at finding an opportunity when his team is 12 or six points up; he takes a shot before it gets to the stage where it goes to the golden point or it becomes a field goal shoot-out.

We saw that on Friday night. Both teams got in field goal position and Huddersfield I think were guilty of taking shots from 45/50 yards out and giving us field positions.

“It’s a massive part of the game, just like kicking goals really, and the more often that you can hit them first time around, the better opportunity you will give yourselves to win games.

“Golden point’s been a pretty interesting one so far this year. We’ve lost one on the back of playing Leeds and now we’ve won one against Huddersfield. It’s exciting. More so for the fans than anything.