Half-back Jamie Ellis and Luke Gale came in for praise from head coach Daryl Powell after producing much improved performances in Castleford Tigers’ 28-18 victory over Hull FC.
Ellis took the man of the match from the fans after possibly his best display in a Castleford shirt, but his half-back partner was also back to somewhere near his best as they outshone Hull’s highly regarded duo, Marc Sneyd and Albert Kelly.
Cas boss Powell was pleased with both and said: “Jamie Ellis was really good. He got his hands on the ball, his running game threatened and he created tries with his passing and kicking game.
“He can be really pleased that he is starting to fit in to what we are doing at the moment.
“I still think Luke Gale is trying to find his best game, but in the second half he was finding it. He kicked a 40-20 which got us great field position and he was creative as well. He came up with some smart passes that created opportunities for us.”
Powell was pleased with the players who came off the bench to help the Tigers take control after they had been trailing 8-0.
He said: “Our bench was very good and gave us a lift.
“Junior was a bit tight to the ruck initially, but then did well. Nathan Massey carried the ball well and Jesse Sene-Lefao played pretty well.
“Joe Wardle had to come on and play in the centre with Greg going off, but he was good until he did his hamstring.
“It’s good you’ve got blokes who can fill in different positions and they handled it well I thought.”
Powell admitted Ben Roberts was still finding his feet at full-back, but there was enough in his performance for the head coach to keep him in the role.
He said: “Ben Roberts was a mixed bag at full-back. At times he looked uncomfortable with the ball, but he was pretty smart round the back at times.
“I am going to show faith in him, he’s going to get better.”
Powell was delighted with the two points that gave the Tigers their second win after the opening day disappointment at St Helens.
He added; “There were some periods in the game where we were really impressive. We played some smart stuff and scored some decent tries.
“We handled the enforced changes we had to make.
“When we got to grips with the game, I thought we were excellent. It just took us a while.
“Hull looked like they had a mission to get after us and they started the better but that try just before half-time was pretty important, it helped settle us down.”