Castleford Tigers assistant coach Danny Orr believes the side can still be a potent threat on the flanks despite the controversial loss of Denny Solomona.
While Solomona’s 42 tries from last year will take some replacing, whoever takes his spot in the team can expect to be supplied with plenty of the ball with Cas still intent on playing their expansive game. Already in pre-season, Greg Eden scored a hat-trick playing on the wing against Hull and Greg Minikin has crossed for three tries in two matches on the other flank.
Orr said: “Replacing 42 tries is always going to be difficult, but we’ve been fortunate that we’ve managed to get Zak Hardaker and Greg Eden in who can play wing as well as full-back. I’m sure we’ll be okay.
“This club has lost some unbelievably good players in the last few years. You can go back to Rangi Chase and Daryl Clark who were both Man of Steel and Justin Carney who scored tries for fun. But we just tend to find a way that works for us.
“Our left wingers in the last couple of years have had some great players inside them and the way we play if you’re on our left wing you’re probably going to score tries.
“I’m confident if we play to our ability our left winger will be towards 20 tries, which is pretty tough to do itself.”
Orr reckons improved defence and better luck with injuries will be the key to whether the Tigers can kick on this year.
He said: “We just need to be a bit better in certain areas and be a bit more consistent.
“Everybody knows we can attack, but our defence was pretty poor last year. I think we were best or second best attack, but second worst defence so for us to win a trophy we need to improve the defence. We have put a few things in place to try and do that.
“If we can improve our defence and can attack like we know we can there’s every chance we can win a trophy this year. But there will be 11 other teams saying that.
“It’s not an excuse, but the injuries to key, key players played a big part in us not winning a trophy last year. A lot of them were just freakish injuries.
“We have changed the conditioning side a little bit, but not for that reason because of the injuries we picked up.
“The testing that the lads have been doing with our conditioner Ben Cooper have proved so far that the lads are ahead and fitter than they were at this time last year. I think what we’re doing is working at the moment and hopefully we can keep the boys fit and we can have a strong year.”
Orr expects this week’s warm weather camp in Lanzarote to prove its value.
He added: “Going to Lanzarote worked really well for us last year.
“Obviously the climate’s a lot different to over here so you can get a lot of work done and a lot of quality work.
“Over here it will be probably snowing or foggy or chucking it down and you can’t get out on the fields.
“Sometimes all you can do is get small 3G pitches indoors and it’s just not ideal. So within the week you can probably get two or three weeks’ worth of work done just because of the conditions.
“It’s a really good week and good for the new guys as well. It’s a different environment, it’s away from here and we get to know the boys on a different level.
“I’ve been there a couple of times and every time I’ve come back thinking it’s a good place to go.
“Hopefully we can have a good camp that will help us kick on to the start of the season.”