JAKE TRUEMAN ran in a brilliant hat-trick of tries for Castleford Tigers after being urged by his colleagues to do just that – run.
The gifted stand-off, 20, helped put his side on the verge of the Super League play-offs with his virtuoso performance in Thursday’s must-win 44-12 victory over Hull FC.
It had coach Daryl Powell eulogising about the youngster’s talent and expressing his belief he will be a “world-class” player for years to come.
But Trueman has spent most of this campaign as an organising half-back in the absence of injured England scrum-half Luke Gale, coming in for particular praise for a stellar kicking game.
It was interesting, then, to see him taking the line on more – all three of his tries against Hull came via rapid acceleration or elusive dummying.
“I’ve tried to run a little bit more over this past month or so, more than I did do at the start of the season,” Trueman told The Yorkshire Post.
I’ve tried to run a little bit more over this past month or so, more than I did do at the start of the seasonJake Trueman
“Powelly and (hooker) Paul McShane have been getting into me a little bit about running the ball more and being more of a threat with it.
“It’s working well since Jamie (Ellis) came in at half; he can organise and set up structure and it frees me up a bit to do more running. I do enjoy it. It’s probably the strongest part of my game and I should do it more.
“The organising side of it can come later in my career and Jamie can do that side of things for now. It felt good out there.”
The win saw sixth-placed Tigers swap positions with Hull in fifth; they are now favourites to secure the final play-offs spot at their rival’s expense.
Hull must beat visiting leaders St Helens on Friday and then rely on other results with Castleford at Wigan in their last outing.
But Trueman said: “It’s massive again for us; it’s another must-win. We must go thinking Hull will beat Saints which means we must beat Wigan.”
Meanwhile, Trueman was named in the Great Britain performance squad on Monday.
“Hopefully I can get in there,” he said, with the Lions due to tour New Zealand and Papua.
“I know there’s some really good half-backs in that squad but hopefully I can put in some good performances before and, if it comes, that’d be great.”
While hapless Hull have lost three games on the bounce to spiral out of contention, Castleford have now won five of their last six to emerge as real contenders when it comes to the play-offs.
They fell just 4-0 at St Helens the previous week and Trueman - who scored twice against Hull to set up a 20-0 lead inside just 22 minutes - revealed: “We were confident all week having played the way we did against Saints.
“We realised we could build on that.
“It was a big win for us. We knew if we’d lost against Hull we had no chance of the play-offs so it was must-win.
“It felt good from the off. We started strong and that was a good way to get up and running.
“A few passes came off, there was the tries and the kicking game came in on the back of that as well.”