DARYL Clark admits he has never scored a finer try than his virtuoso second in Castleford Tigers’ win at Widnes Vikings.
He may still be only 21 but the gifted hooker has already made a habit of producing some eye-catching efforts so such qualification demonstrates just how good it was on Thursday night.
England hopeful Clark – who must currently be rated the best No 9 in the competition – broke from dummy-half inside his own half before beating a raft of defenders with his sheer pace and elusive running skills.
He completed his first professional hat-trick soon after as Castleford won 40-20 to move to within two points of the Super League summit.
“I might have scored better in my amateur days, but not against tough opposition in Super League like that,” conceded Clark, who seems certain to debut for England in the Four Nations.
“It’s always good to get over the whitewash but even more special when you know you’ve done it from a long way out like that. I was looking for support initially when I first went through and looking for the pass, but then I saw some space open up on the outside and just put my foot down.
“As for the hat-trick, I think I was probably playing Under-15s the last time I did that.”
The treble took his season’s tally to a dozen as the West Yorkshire club eventually eased home.
But Clark accepts Castleford were fortunate, when leading just 22-16 early in the second half, to see Patrick Ah Van have a 90m effort ruled out for offside.
“It was a good win and a tough game,” he added.
“The scoreline doesn’t really reflect just how tough it was all the way through. The big turning point in the game was Ah Van’s intercept.
“If that’s allowed, and they convert, it’s level and a different game, but you have to take those calls when they come your way.
“We’ve been on the wrong end of some of them before so it’s good to get one in our favour.”