Paul McShane is Castleford Tigers’ ‘little general’ hails Daryl Powell

FOR the second successive round, Gareth O’Brien made the Challenge Cup headlines, but it was Paul McShane who most impressed Castleford Tigers coach Daryl Powell.

Tigers' Peter Matautia dives over to score their second try. Picture: Tony Johnson
Tigers' Peter Matautia dives over to score their second try. Picture: Tony Johnson

As at Hull KR last month O’Brien landed a golden point drop goal to defeat Salford Red Devils 19-18 and send Tigers through to a semi-final against Warrington Wolves on June 5.

McShane, though, was man of the match, even before he came up with what Powell described as a “class” play to charge down Kevin Brown’s drop goal attempt, then run through, dive on the ball and set up possession and field position for O’Brien’s winner.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

McShane also created two tries, one with a brilliant break out of acting-half and made several crucial contributions in defence.

“He is playing great,” said Powell of the hooker who hopes to make his England debut against Combined Nations All Stars this summer.

“He loves his rugby league and he’s a little general in the team. I just want him to run a little bit more, we keep encouraging him to run because when he does he is phenomenal.

“At times he needs reminding, but he is a fantastic player, such a smart rugby league player and he has a huge engine as well.

“You leave him out there for 80 minutes and then he can still do things like that at the end, which was outstanding.”

Powell praised his side’s “effort and commitment”, particularly when Liam Watts joined O’Brien in the sin-bin and was pleased with the contribution of starting half-backs Jake Trueman and Danny Richardsonf.

“We had to work exceptionally hard,” added the coach. “They were chasing the game when we were down to 12 and then 11, that made it really hard.”

O’Brien’s heroics came after he had been sin-binned late in normal time and also conceded a penalty which led to a converted Salford try to level the scores on the final play of the 80 minutes.

O’Brien reflected: “It is a bit of a silly sin-binning and then I give a penalty away for them to march us down the field and obviously Lee Mossop goes over.

“I had to step up and that went over and I am delighted to be in the semi’.”

Support The Yorkshire Post and become a subscriber today. Your subscription will help us to continue to bring quality news to the people of Yorkshire. In return, you’ll see fewer ads on site, get free access to our app and receive exclusive members-only offers. Click HERE to subscribe.