Castleford youngsters earn praise

Greg Minikin.
Greg Minikin.
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Promising youngsters Greg Minikin, Tom Holmes and Gadwin Springer have come in for praise from head coach Daryl Powell following their efforts in the first team in recent weeks.

Minikin only made his senior first team debut last Thursday against Leeds Rhinos, but made an immediate impact off the bench and followed up with an 80-minute display at Catalans when he scored two tries and was man of the match in many fans’ eyes.

“When he made that tackle on Watkins (in the Leeds game) I just thought ‘you’re going to be here for a long time playing in Super League’ because you see people not making the ground up on him consistently,” said Cas boss Powell.

“I thought that was awesome and he looked strong with the ball as well. He’s a naturally strong kid and when he finds his feet he’s going to be a really good player for us.

“Greg could be a player here for 12 years. He’s got competition in his position, but competition just makes you better and you’ve just to work hard to get past people.

“He’s been waiting for his opportunity and he hasn’t played an awful lot of Rugby League this year so it was great for him to have such a positive game against Catalans.

“He really troubled their defensive line.

“He’s got some work to do defensively and got put under a fair bit of pressure. But with the ball I thought he was a real handful.”

Powell was also delighted with the contribution of rookie half-back Tom Holmes, who played the whole of the second half in France.

He said: “I thought Tom Holmes did well coming off the bench in the second half.

“He showed a lot of composure and maturity in the way he played.

“It was his first game really. He had a little bit of time against Catalans last year, but it terms of playing at that level he’s had minimal time so it was a great opportunity for him and I was really pleased with the way he went.”

Young forward Springer missed Monday’s game with a groin injury, but Powell has been impressed by the impact he has made since coming into the team.

He added: “Gadwin is growing all the time. He’s really hard on himself, but he’s getting better every single week.

“I gave him a big pat on the back last week because him and Denny Solomona, in particular, were absolved of any responsibility for the defeat at Warrington. They were pretty good.

“I really like what he’s doing at the moment and he’s going to be a really good front rower.”