Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell praised some of his unsung heroes after they played their part in the club’s latest victory over Leeds Rhinos.
While the likes of Albert Goldthorpe Medal winner Luke Gale, fellow Man of Steel contender Zak Hardaker and Super League’s top try scorer, Greg Eden, have continued to, rightly, come in for acclaim from the media following their consistently high standard performances this year a number of others have gone under the radar.
Powell knows well how important these players have been to the success of the Tigers and the competition for places provided by them has been a big part of driving the side on.
After the 38-24 win over the Rhinos the head coach spoke about how pleased he was with several of his lesser highlighted players.
He said: “I was very pleased with Gadwin Springer. He had bigger minutes than he’s used to, he was consistent in what he was doing defensively and I thought his carries were pretty strong.
“I think him and Larne Patrick are battling to get in the team. It’s good competition for places and I thought he was really good (against Leeds).
“Alex Foster is a tough kid isn’t he? When we lost Zak we had to adjust a little bit and he had to play in the centre. He handled it pretty well.
“He’s been a decent find for us this year and he’s played well consistently since he’s been at the club.
“Nathan Massey’s playing well.
“If we pick a player out that we might want to have to make a fair bit of defensive work he’s right up there at the forefront of that. He’s been great for us.
“There was a period earlier in the season when he wasn’t going quite so well and he’s responded from a call to improve his game and I think he’s playing well consistently at the moment.”
On outside back Greg Minikin, Powell admitted the player has some work to do to improve the defensive side of his game, but he is happy with other aspects he brings to the team from the wing position he has settled into this year.
He added: “Greg’s been working hard on his catching.
“I thought he was really solid in the first half. He had one there in the second half that he didn’t get, but it’s a tough job on the wing, you get put under a lot of pressure.
“It’s something he just needs to continue to work on and again he’s under pressure with Jy Hitchcox and Joel Monaghan there as well so there’s competition for places and I’ve got to make the right calls at the right time.
“He took his try well (against Leeds), he does lots of quality things. Everybody’s got little bits of weakness in their game they need to keep working on, that’s the nature of being a human being.”