Ryan Hampshire has been backed to be a success at half-back for Castleford Tigers after showing promise on his debut against Salford.
Tigers head coach Daryl Powell admitted there were still elements of Hampshire’s game he needs to work on, but was pleased with aspects of his play in his first senior competitive game for Cas since his loan switch from Wigan.
“He told the Express: “It was his first full game playing at half-back for us and he’ll grow from that.
“He did some good things and I thought he grew into the game. He had a couple of runs in the second half where he looked sharp and looked like he was going to open Salford up.
“Up until that vital Masila intercept I thought he was going to be one of the players who would perhaps have gotten us the result.”
Hampshire looks set to continue as Luke Gale’s half-back partner for tomorrow night’s trip to Warrington with Ben Roberts still struggling with a foot injury and Powell wants him to build on his first display of the season.
He said: “Chances are he’ll get another opportunity this week. He needs to improve, pretty much like the other guys, and have a really solid game this week.
“We’re going to need to be a fair bit tidier in the way we play and he’s got to be a part of that as well.
“He’s quick as we saw against Salford and we’re looking for him develop his pass accuracy and his creativity. He’ll keep working on that in practice.
“We have minimal practice time over the next couple of weeks, obviously leading into Easter, but he’ll work hard to improve his game. “
Powell was obviously disappointed to have lost to Salford, but saw some positives from the game, particularly through the displays of two of his young players who came off the bench to make an impact with some strong carries down the middle.
He added: “I thought there was a real glimpse into the future.
“Off our bench two of our young front rowers, Will Maher and Gadwin Springer, were both good. They gave us a lift when they came on.
“I thought Paul McShane was excellent when he came off the bench. Luke Dorn, before he got injured, was also playing well.
“There was some good performances, but just not consistent enough. Our individual players were not consistent enough, which obviously means as a team we’re not.
“We need to tidy our game up a little bit and get our confidence back. It was only a couple of games ago we were playing with confidence and looking really sharp.
“It ebbs and flows through the season, but obviously we need to get it back as soon as we can.”