Posted: Wednesday 31st March 2021

Evalds reflects on opening win

Niall Evalds made his mark in his first competitive Tigers game, scoring one and setting up two tries in the Tigers’ 21-12 opening day victory.

Much has been made of Evalds’ joining Castleford and taking the number one shirt ahead of the new season starting and it proved to be a terrific demonstration of the quality Niall possesses at fullback. Speaking after the game he was delighted to begin the new season in such a good fashion.

“It was good, always good to get a win in the first game and register that first win of the season and I feel we ground that one out and losing Gaz was a blow to us, but we adjusted our game plan and secured the win in the end,” said Evalds.

“Gaz is a big part of the team, a real quality player but we moved things around, Macca was very vocal and having a player like that who can adjust from hooker to halfback – it helps no end. We’re pleased and we know that is one game in and we go again next week.”

With such a prolific try-scoring record, was it a weight off Niall’s shoulders to score on his debut?

“I don’t think so, I’m more concerned with the win to be honest and we targeted the first game as us wanting to make a statement and I know we’ve been written off a fair bit but that is not what we think. We are pretty confident in our abilities and we just wanted to get the two points on the board, and we did that.”

It was a great debut for Jordan Turner in Tigers colours too, two tries in his first appearance on the wing in a long time, with Evalds cutout passing setting up both!

“We had a fair bit of success down our left side, and we got the rewards off of all our work done by the middles and Truey (Trueman) squaring people up and it gave me and JT (Turner) a bit of room on that edge.”

Sunday’s victory provided the ideal start to Daryl Powell’s final season as Head Coach at Castleford Tigers, but before that news was even revealed, Niall explains how the team were already motivated to prove a point in 2021.

“Truthfully, we don’t need any more motivation than we already have but we did speak about wanting to send Daryl out on a good year for everything he has done for the club, he is so motivated himself that he wants to do that. We needed to get off to a good start and we have done that, we rest up and get ready for Friday.”