Castleford Wakefield win gives Tigers hope of top spot
Castleford are in the running to win their first piece of silverware for 20 years, since beating Wigan 33-2 in the Regal Trophy final.
They currently trail St Helens by two points at the top of the Super League standings, after a pulsating 26-22 victory over local rivals Wakefield. The Wheldon Road-based outfit will lift the league leaders shield should they defeat Catalans in the south of France, and the Saints fail to beat Huddersfield away from home.
Castleford have a better points difference than St Helens, so will be ideally positioned to knock the Lancashire side off their perch, if Nathan Brown’s side can’t get a positive result.
Tigers centre Michael Shenton predicted a good year for the club, after a positive first half of the season: “It’s impressive for Castleford to have three players in the train-on squad. It’s shows where we’re at right now,”
“It’s a good place to play at the minute. It’s a good place to train. It’s nice for everyone’s families and stuff like that. It’s a club that’s moving forward, we’ve got some good plans in the pipeline.
“We’ll be looking to obviously build on this success. There’s nothing real at the minute. It’s just a good start to the season for us.
“It’s moving forward now and keeping our feet on the floor. We need to expand on what we’ve done going into the back end of the year, maybe get some silverware,” he added.
Although Castleford made it the Challenge Cup final, they just couldn’t get over the last hurdle, as West Yorkshire rivals Leeds Rhinos beat them 23-10.
The fantastic campaign that the club have had surely goes hand-in-hand with the training strategies implemented by coach Daryl Powell, who recently signed a new five-year contract.
“It’s great. It’s obviously no co-incidence that we’ve turned our fortunes around when he came in,” Shenton continued. “He’s done a tremendous job.
“He’s still as hungry as ever, signing that five-year contract shows that he believes in the club. He believes in the young players that we have coming through.
“That’s one of his goals and one his statements. He’s got a big input throughout the club, the scholarships and getting young players to want to come and play for Castleford. I know we’ve got a good pipeline of players coming through,” Shenton gushed enthusiastically, the conviction clearly evidenced in his voice.
“It seems that way we lose out on players to a lot of other clubs as well that we try and get. With Powell in charge hopefully some of those things will change. Hopefully the club will get stronger and stronger.”
A league leaders shield would be a great way of showing that strength.