SCORING a hat-trick of tries against the club that has loaned you out should be a perfect response to such adversity but, for Castleford Tigers winger Paddy Flynn, the feat proved rather hollow.
His treble against Widnes Vikings on Thursday was all in vain as hosts Castleford lost 38-28 in a bitterly disappointing team display.
Flynn arrived from Widnes last month for the rest of the season and impressed on debut in the 52-12 win at Super League champions Leeds Rhinos.
He also played in the victory at Warrington but was left out against Huddersfield Giants following some defensive errors in Castleford’s loss to Wigan.
However, after Luke Dorn failed a late fitness test, the 28-year-old was recalled against Widnes on the wing with Denny Solomona switching to the No 1 role. It reaped immediate dividends.
“I’d rather swap that hat-trick for the win any day,” Flynn insisted to The Yorkshire Post.
“But if there’s one positive I can take out of that it would be the three tries, especially as I’d not scored yet for Cas,
“Playing on the left-hand side I seemed to get that little bit more ball and I wouldn’t mind playing there again.
“Luke Dorn couldn’t make the game so Daryl (Powell) switched the team around so I could go on the left side. Even late on in the game he moved it again so Joel Monaghan could jump in at full-back and Denny go to the wing.
“It is a versatile team and I don’t mind mucking in.”
Flynn had amassed more than 100 tries for the Vikings since debuting in 2008 but says he was “sacrificed” to make way for NRL signing Jack Buchanan.
Down the pecking order behind Corey Thompson and Patrick Ah Van, he had played just one game for Widnes this term in the Challenge Cup against Rochdale Hornets.
On Thursday, Castleford had trailed 38-12 heading into the final 11 minutes but three quickfire tries, including Flynn’s third, offered a glimmer of hope.
Nevertheless, they fell short to suffer a fourth successive home defeat and jeopardise their hopes of making the top-four.
“We’re very disappointed,” admitted Flynn, as Widnes picked up only their second league win in 11 games to move to just a point behind the West Yorkshire club.
“It’s an old cliche but it was all ifs and buts – what if this and that – but we have to go out there and do less talking and more actions.
“Widnes out-enthused us and we just can’t afford to do that.
“We’re never going to be in the top-eight or pushing for the top-four if we let teams do that. Hopefully we’ll improve on that next week and take it to Hull FC.”
Sixth-placed Castleford host high-flying Hull a week tomorrow as Flynn looks to continue his bid for earning a permanent deal at Wheldon Road.
“I’d definitely like to do that; it’s a great club and I seem to be doing well here,” he said.
“They have got a lot of improvement out of me so far, Daryl tips me up on what to do in training, where I’m going wrong, and I could see myself improving even more here, so I wouldn’t mind.”
On Hull, he added: “They are flying but it’s strange as we seem to pick our game up against these top teams.
“We saw glimpses of this (Widnes) match in the Huddersfield win last week but this was a bit more severe – taking the foot off the pedal and still expecting the points.
“In this league you can’t do that.”
Widnes coach Denis Betts expressed his delight for Flynn afterwards.
“I was really pleased for Paddy because he’s never done anything wrong,” he said. “He needed an opportunity and I knew coming here he would be well coached. He looks like a really good winger and I’m pleased for him.”
Powell, meanwhile, was dejected after seeing his side squander a glorious chance to stay on course for the top-four.
“That was terrible, just a very poor performance,” he said.
“Eight errors in the first half was just too much of a weight for a team that’s not playing well to bear. We just put ourselves under so much pressure.
“We only really looked like a team that wanted to win in the last 10 minutes, which just wound me up to be honest, the fact that it took that long for us to look like we were desperate to win it.”