VICTORIOUS Castleford Tigers captain Michael Shenton described his side’s Challenge Cup semi-final as a “near perfect afternoon”.
The England centre led them to a ruthless 28-6 victory over Widnes Vikings yesterday to set-up a mouth-watering final against arch-rivals Leeds Rhinos on August 23.
“It’s just such a shame to lose Craig Huby, because otherwise, that was sheer perfect,” he said, referring to the experienced prop, who dislocated his elbow midway through the first half and is now a huge doubt for Wembley.
“We’ve shown a lot of character this year and we keep on turning up and digging out great performances and great results.
“If we perform at Wembley like we did in this semi then we’re going to give ourselves every chance of creating a little piece of history. We’ll be ready for that final, and I know we’ll give a good account of ourselves on the big stage.”
Castleford – having reached their first Challenge Cup final since losing to Wigan in 1992 – are certainly enjoying a wonderful renaissance under Daryl Powell. Castleford-born Shenton epitomises that; he is in career-best form having returned from St Helens at the end of 2012.
“I just can’t wait now,” he said. “I did enjoy my rugby at Saints, but I enjoy it even more leading this team and you can probably understand why when you watch us play.
“The coaching staff should take a lot of credit; the boys work hard and it is paying off.
“We can’t fall in love with ourselves too much though, because this is gone now and we’ve got a massive game at Warrington on Friday.”