LOAN SIGNING Larne Patrick is a quality addition for Castleford Tigers, according to fellow forward Nathan Massey.
The Welsh international back-rower has joined Tigers from Huddersfield Giants on a deal lasting until the end of the season.
Patrick, who came through Bradford Bulls’ academy system and spent last year on loan at Wigan Warriors, could make his Tigers debut against visitors Hull KR on Sunday.
The 27-year-old played youth rugby in the Castleford area and Massey reckons he will strengthen Tigers’ pack and ease some of the workload for their established forwards.
“He’s a really good addition for us,” Massey insisted.
“Larne’s a quality player and a good bloke as well, so it’s nice to have him come in.
“He’s my age and I know him quite well from our amateur days.
“He was at Smawthorne and then he moved to Townville while I was at Walton.
“Obviously we’ve had a real tough time with injuries and stuff like that so Larne coming in is going to take a bit of pressure off the older fellas.
“Junior Moors is not too far off being back as well, so we have got a few players coming back in, but over Easter a lot of us have had to play the majority of games as we just did not have the personnel to take over.”
Tigers began First Utility Super League round 12 in seventh spot on the table, just a point clear of ninth-placed Wakefield.
Sunday’s visitors Hull KR are reeling from last Saturday’s 36-22 home loss to Kingstone Press Championship part-timers Oldham and Massey said: “We expect a backlash off them, but we can’t just look at that.
“They had done all right previous to that with a nice win at Leeds and obviously they have had a bit of a turnover in coaching staff – and every game in Super League, you just can’t pick them.”
Massey said Tigers’ main focus is on their own performance and giving fans at the Jungle something to cheer about.
“We need to get back to winning ways and it’s great to be back at home this weekend,” he stated.
“We love it down here – the fans really help us and we’re looking forward to it.”
Massey admitted last week’s defeat – which came after Tigers led going into the final quarter – was “disappointing”.
It came a week after Wigan had been thrashed 62-0 at Wakefield and was Cas’ fifth of the year.
But he is confident they can compete for a place in the all-important top-four once they get some troops back on board.
“It hasn’t helped with the injuries we’ve had and the change in personnel,” he reflected. “From week to week we are trying to find some consistency.
“We have got a really deep squad this year and the young players that have come in have been top quality, but we do miss the likes of Luke Dorn and Benny Roberts, the older heads in the team.
“We’re looking to find that consistency, as when we’re on it we’re really good – but when we’re off we let it slip.”
Massey feels his own form has been similar. He said: “I just need to keep batting on and find a bit of consistency.
“I had a bit of a tough time with my wrist [injury] coming into this year, so I’m just finding my form again, but I’m doing all right.”