Coach Daryl Powell hailed hooker Paul McShane as a “special” player after Castleford Tigers kicked off their Betfred Super League campaign with a 20-4 home win over Catalans Dragons.
McShane scored a try and four goals in a man of the match display and Powell reckons he is set for a big season.
“He is a pretty special player isn’t he? Powell said.
“We have a young half in Jake Trueman who is playing exceptional rugby league, but he is still learning his game.
“Jordan Rankin is new into the team so McShane is a general for us with Luke Gale not in the team due to his injury.”
Tigers scored three tries to one and Powell described it as a “good win for us”.
“I thought we defended oustandingly,” he added.
“We were under a lot of pressure with a few penalties in the first half. They got three repeat sets in first half too.
“On the back of that territorial advantage the play was pretty heavily in their favour.
“The fact we scored a couple of tries and wen 12-0 up was massively down to our defence.”
Powell went on: “It was a really pleasing performance.
“There were a few errors and we will want to improve but our attitude was great defensively and with the ball.
“We went after it a bit too much in the second half and couldn’t quite finish the game off
“It looked like we thought we had a right to finish it off at one point. We will learn from that.
“It was a tough game and we took a while to break them down.
“We had to show a lot of patience. We only had a couple of sets in attacking positions in the first half.
“At the other end of the field we did really well.
“We have put a lot of emphasis in defence this pre season and to only concede one try late one, I thought we looked pretty comfortable for large parts of it.
“It gives us a good platform to build from.”