Castleford skipper: It’s exciting times

Castleford's Michael Shenton.
Castleford's Michael Shenton.

Skipper Michael Shenton reckons it is an exciting time to be a Castleford Tigers player and supporter.

The opening day win over Leigh gave first indication of what the Tigers are capable of with the strength in depth that allowed them to bring on the likes of Ben Roberts from the bench impressive.

Roberts had to be used as a first half replacement when Rangi Chase picked up a knock and his presence meant Cas were able to maintain the drive round the field that was putting them in charge against the Super League newcomers.

“When you’ve got Rangi Chase, Ben Roberts and Luke Gale you are going to have strike all over the field,” said Shenton.

“It is not bad that Ben Roberts can come on. I think it was a precaution with Rangi, but there’s no risk when you’ve got someone of Ben Roberts’ calibre on the bench and we have got players like Adam Milner, Olly Holmes and Larne Patrick to come in, who didn’t play on Friday.

“It’s exciting times.”

Shenton was relieved as well as delighted with the Tigers’ display in their first game.

He said: “This year there’s a lot of expectation, not so much from outside, but from within. It has grown a little bit and with that expectation comes a bit of nervousness.

“We were playing someone who was a bit unknown to us, we hadn’t played Leigh in a long time and they are a dangerous team. They have signed well and there’s a lot of experience there.

“You think if we can’t handle it, it could be a really big slip-up for us. Thankfully we came through a really tough start and that showed that our defence was solid.

“We felt comfortable and solid and our reaction to errors was really positive; there was no sulking, we just said let’s get on with it, let’s be positive.

“That set the platform for us. We knew when we got the ball we had to be disciplined with it and I thought when we got the ball we were pretty good. We looked very sharp.

“The really pleasing thing for us was, for 60-65 minutes, the defensive focus.

“They got a few tries late on, but they have some dangerous players who like to promote the ball and offload and play off the cuff. To be able to handle them the way we did for the majority of the game was very encouraging.

“Towards the back end they started to get a bit and that’s the way rugby league goes sometimes, when you’ve got nothing to play for you can risk it a bit more.

“The game had gone for them so that’s always tough and we conceded a few tries off the back of that, but the game was already in the bag then and in the end it was a really satisfying performance and result as well. For most of the game we were really controlled and composed.”