Red hot Castleford half-backs come in for praise

Ben Roberts on the attack for Castleford Tigers against St Helens. Picture: Bruce Rollinson
Ben Roberts on the attack for Castleford Tigers against St Helens. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

Castleford Tigers’ half-backs on parade against St Helens have come in for big praise from head coach Daryl Powell.

The Cas boss was pleased with the way Luke Gale controlled the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup sixth round tie on his return from England duty and received good support from inexperienced youngster Tom Holmes initially then Ben Roberts for a red hot spell towards the end of the first half.

With hooker Paul McShane also enjoying one of his best performances in his already fantastic season that has had some calling for him to be in the next England squad the Tigers were able to enjoy total domination at times as they romped to a 53-10 victory over a side they have traditionally struggled to beat.

Well pleased Powell told the Express: “Some of our key players played very well.

“Our half-backs were outstanding. Ben Roberts’ 20 minutes was phenomenal really and Luke Gale over 80 minutes had a hand in lot of good quality things.

“Tom Holmes did well. He created our second try and had a hand in a lot of good things.

“Paul McShane was pivotal to everything we did and he had an excellent performance.”

Powell said all his players deserved praise for the show they put on for the BBC cameras at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle, scoring 10 tries against Saints.

He added: “You look across the team and there were just good quality performances everywhere - Zak Hardaker at the back, our outside backs and our pack was really dominant.

“I questioned our pack last time we played St Helens. I thought they dominated us, but we flipped it round this time.

“Andy Lynch has been up and down this year, but I thought that was the best he’s played for us this year. He carried the ball well and defensively he was much, much better, just strong and tight in his contact.

“I was really pleased he stepped up and I thought Matt Cook did as well, he’s another player who’s really stepped up recently and he did a good job for us at the weekend.”