Shenton: "All the boys are raring to go"
Posted: Thursday 6th August 2020 - 5:00 PM
Castleford captain Michael Shenton insists that despite the changes to the competitions, the Tigers silverware goals remain the same.
In his regular column in our monthly club magazine ROAR, Shenny discusses the opportunities and challenges the new 'six again'.rule will pose in Super League.
You can read August's edition of ROAR, for free, at castlefordtigers.com/roar.
It’s been great to be back in with the boys and whilst we’ve only had three weeks build-up for the first game back and seeing the first games of the restart, it really brings home how much we’ve been missing it, but now we are all excited and have a great opportunity in front of us.
I think it’s a real shame that Toronto had to drop out, this means we’ve been removed points off the table and it’s moved things around a bit in the league and the Challenge Cup but we have just got to steel our heads and get over any sort of distractions quickly and focus, we’re in both competitions and have the chance to do something special this season.
After seeing the ‘six again’ rule in action, I think there are different ways of approaching it as it will affect everybody by making it harder, more exciting, and very quick. We had a referee come down to training to go through the changes in a bit more detail and highlight examples of infringements that will get flagged, but it might be easy to go ‘six again’ if they see any kind of hands-on ball and when you’re playing rugby that happens a lot. You are taught about locking the ball up and trying to slow the ruck down, after doing that over the years now you have to de-train yourself in a way about that kind of stuff. But the refs have a tough job on their hands in changing how they officiate to the new rules too. I think we can take advantage of these changes with our exciting outside backs who can earn us some ‘six again-s’ and the likes of Paul McShane and our halfbacks, who can play reactively or out on the front foot, will be given opportunities for us to make the most of situations. We need to be tough, and we have to be really fit moving forward to deal with it in defence too.
Playing behind closed doors is something else that is going to be different about this year and again we must steel ourselves and we have got to be strong mentally. It’s something I’ve never had to deal with before in all my games but I think the first games back showed it does not affect too much, there were some fast and fantastic performances with momentum coming off the ‘six again’ rule. You must be really disciplined in your game management and controlled when in possession if you are at the bad end of a possession it’s going to be hard work. So, you have to be tough when on the back foot, but you have to play smart and kick well when with the ball.
It’s felt longer than four and a half months but we’re getting back to match action and I know our fans will be happy to see us play and we are excited to get back out there. All the boys are raring to go and our goals haven’t changed, we’re still in both competitions and we are aiming to win both and hopefully, Cas fans can come to see us in person later in the year.
Stay safe and all the best.
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