Tigers winger Clare aiming to retain place

James Clare: "I was genuinely very, very nervous before the game." Picture: Matthew Merrick.
James Clare: "I was genuinely very, very nervous before the game." Picture: Matthew Merrick.

JAMES Clare was happy to get on the scoresheet last Sunday on his first start in his second spell with Castleford Tigers.

The 26-year-old winger, who rejoined his hometown club from Leigh Centurions on a one-year deal last December, bagged a first-half touchdown in the 22-8 win against Salford Red Devils when visiting full-back Jake Bibby failed to deal with Paul McShane’s grubber kick.

“You’ve got to turn up at the right place at the right time,” said Clare.

“It was a great kick. Bibby fumbled it a bit and you’ve got to take those chances. I was just a bit lucky he knocked on and I could dive on it. It was a little bit of a scrappy game but it was nice to get on the scoresheet.

“In the first-half I think it was Cas almost back to their best and hopefully we can get two of those 40 minutes next week.

“I had forgotten how loud it is at the Cas ground.

“The fans down here make such a big difference. It helps us and spurs us on.”

Clare, who replaced injured Greg Eden in Castleford’s line-up, admitted he was nervous before his second Castleford debut.

“I was genuinely very, very nervous before the game. I’ve not been that nervous playing since I made my debut at Cas first time round but at the same time I was full of excitement and just wanted to have a good game,” he added

He is now aiming to retain his place in the side.

“Greg is back in a couple of weeks and we’ve got Jy Hitchcox and Garry Lo waiting for an opportunity as well so I’ve got to play as well as I can to keep the shirt,” he said.

Tigers coach Daryl Powell was pleased with Clare’s display.

“I thought he went all right. He’s a really solid player. Under the high ball he’s solid and he carries the ball well,” said Powell.