Isa gives us options – Matterson

Willie Isa made his Castleford Tigers debut from the bench at Bradford last Sunday.
Willie Isa made his Castleford Tigers debut from the bench at Bradford last Sunday.

CASTLEFORD Tigers boss Terry Matterson was left with mixed feelings after seeing his side suffer their first Super League defeat of the season at Bradford last Sunday.

While several players were below par and the head coach thought his side had played some “dumb” rugby at times, there were also several positives to come out of the narrow 18-14 defeat.

Matterson had words of praise for teenage star Daryl Clark, who scored his second senior try with an 80-metre effort, and Samoan centre Willie Isa, who came off the bench to make his long-awaited Tigers debut.

He said: “Willie was solid and showed he’s going to be an asset for us.

“He gave us the opportunity to put Brett Ferres back in the back row. It’s going to take a little bit of time to get used to because we have been doing well with Brett in the centres, but we look a lot bigger and stronger with Willie there and he gives us options. I was fairly pleased with his first effort.

“Daryl Clark was really good and continues to be good in both areas of the game.

“He played a lot of game time and probably a bit more than was planned, but he’s doing everything asked of him at the moment.

“The two wingers’ work rate was really good also and Richie Mathers tried hard. But as a team we probably got away a bit from what we’ve been doing.

“I wouldn’t say anyone was poor, but we had quite a few people who weren’t as good as they have been. We had too many guys not quite on their game.

“I can’t fault the effort of the players, we just weren’t quite good enough on the day.”

Matterson felt the attacking side of his team’s game was unusually off colour and their plays on the sixth tackle lacked quality.

He added: “I thought defensively we did really well for large parts of the game, but we lost our way in attack.

“Not only when Danny Orr went off, in the first half we had some opportunities there, but we lacked some composure we’ve had in previous weeks. Whether that was down to Bradford’s defence, which I thought was really good, I’m not sure, but we’ve got to do better on our last plays.

“Rangi Chase’s try was great and we had an opportunity after that to score again. If we had made it 12-0 with what happened to Bradford the previous week they could have been struggling to come back from that. But they had obviously worked really hard on their defence during the week and they made it pretty difficult for us. In saying that we played some fairly dumb rugby.

“We didn’t take our opportunities and I thought our last plays let us down. We lost our way certainly when Danny Orr went off. We didn’t handle that well and it’s something we have to look at.

“We’re disappointed as we had an opportunity to win the game, but on the plus side we didn’t play that well and we weren’t far away.

“It was our second tough game in a row and certainly the Catalan game took a bit out of us.”