In-form Castleford star believes he has more improvement to make

Zak Hardaker celebrates his try against Catalans Dragons.
Zak Hardaker celebrates his try against Catalans Dragons.

Impressive Castleford Tigers full-back Zak Hardaker has warned Super League rivals that he still has more improving to do.

The England player raced away for another spectacular long range try in the first half against Catalans Dragons and has now scored tries in five of the last six matches, taking his total up to eight since his move to the Tigers.

He admitted he had improved his pace since his arrival at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle, but is still working on aspects of his play in a bid to improve further.

He said: “I think I have got a little bit quicker. That’s because I had a full pre-season, which I had not had for the past four, five years. That’s enabled me to have extra weights and training sessions that I’ve not had before.

“Every player’s got aspects of their game they need to work on and mine is ball handling. I’ve been working hard on that all season and Daryl Powell has really helped me with that.

“I’ve still got a long way to go. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the finished article yet, but probably that’s the only thing that’s missing from my game that I want to add.”

Hardaker’s Cas team are 10 points clear going into the Super 8s, but reckons they will stay focused with nothing won yet.

He said: “We’re fully aware of where we’re sitting at the moment, but we just can’t be too complacent.

“We’ve got to keep grinding the games out, getting the two points and try to hit some form at the back end of the season, where the business end is.

“We’ve got a couple more games to win to hopefully get the league Leaders’ Shield then all the focus will turn towards the semi-finals.”

Hardaker was delighted with the way his team showed all their qualities to win away to Catalans last Saturday:

“It’s always tough to win in France, there and back in a day and in the heat that we’re not used to. So it was a great two points to get in the end.”

On the controversial penalty try awarded when video referee Robert Hicks judged that Hardaker had kicked the ball out of Vincent Duprot’s hands as he was diving over the line, Zak added: “It was a tough one. I thought he had knocked on and I got my boot to the ball as well.

“It was one of those where I thought it wasn’t as try, but the video ref disagreed with that and overturned it so I’m not sure what to make out of it to be honest.”