Castleford v Catalans: Moore is merrier as Tigers eye steps for improving

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SCOTT MOORE admits he may never recapture his career-best form, possibly because of current club Castleford Tigers’ style of play – but that does not mean the hooker is not intent on hanging around at Wheldon Road.

He was stunning on loan from St Helens at Huddersfield Giants in 2009, a dynamic figure in that side’s thrilling campaign and earning both a place in Super League’s Dream Team and England honours.

Castleford Tigers' Scott Moore.

Castleford Tigers' Scott Moore.

However, the itinerant Moore has played for six different clubs since and, at the age of 27, is still yet to rediscover fully that game-controlling brilliance.

Castleford, who host Catalans Dragons tomorrow, signed him from relegated London Broncos last winter on a two-year deal.

Asked about his own form now, Moore said: “I’m not playing amazing, but not rubbish either – just average.

“Playing here is a little bit different to the way other teams play – we’re really shifty and more expansive, so I don’t think it’s really a team for your nines to flourish in.

“I’ve just been getting on with my job and as long we keep winning I’m not bothered about my performance. It isn’t relevant.

“I do think 2009 was my best season. A lot of things clicked that year. Browny (Huddersfield coach Nathan Brown) was a former nine so everything revolved around the middle and my position plus Brett Hodgson as well at full-back.

“Every team’s different and caters for different people; we’re probably an example now of one with really good outside backs and halves so we cater for them a bit more, which is fine by me.

“It’s not about individuals. The ultimate goal is winning and playing in finals.

“I am quite happy here at Cas. I’m quite settled, live close by, all the lads are really good and it’s a family-orientated club with a good fan base and the coaching staff are good, too.

“I’m enjoying myself and settled so if I get a chance to stay here long-term I will do.

“But first things first, I’ve got to get through this year.”

Moore, who had a 16-game loan spell with Tigers in 2008, should play a pivotal role tomorrow given Adam Milner, with whom he has shared hooking duties, is suspended.

Castleford are looking to build on Sunday’s 22-20 win at Salford Red Devils and could potentially move into the top four with another victory, though they accept they are from fluent.

“It’s important we put in a good performance,” insisted Moore.

“The last two weeks we’ve been pretty poor. Widnes speaks for itself (a 46-16 away loss) and last week I don’t think we were that good again. We might have come out of the right side of the game, but we were a little disappointed. This week is a chance to kick on and play well.”

Moore admits his season at London – after time back at home-town Saints, Widnes Vikings, another stint with Giants and a year in the NRL with North Queensland – was “really, really tough” but revelatory, too.

“I feel a bit more well-rounded now,” said the man previously renowned for an infamous drinking spree with Hollywood film star Mickey Rourke after Huddersfield’s 2009 Challenge Cup final appearance.

“You tend to realise that not everything revolves around rugby and you have a life as well. People beat themselves up a little too much if they play rubbish or you get beat (London lost 26 of 27 games).

“You just have to get over it, dust yourself off and there’s always next week.

“That does probably round your character a little more and makes you grow up a little bit.”

Back in February, Castleford lost 13-12 against Catalans in Perpignan, a feisty game that often boiled over. It is just the sort of encounter in which Ryan Bailey, the combustible ex-Leeds Rhinos prop set to make his Tigers debut.

Moore smiled: “I played against him a few times and never really liked him so I’m on the other side of the fence now.

“It’ll be nice to have Bails on the same team rather than just trying to beat him up all the time.

“He’s been good to have about and he’s settled in here really well.

“Catalans will be a tough game as they are a really physical team and after you’ve played them you know you have played them; they like to belt you.

“But we were a little unlucky over there and if we play to our potential we’ll be fine.

“If we put in a lacklustre performance like we have done recently they will turn us over.”