James Clare on Play-Offs exit
Posted: Friday 27th September 2019 - 5:30 PM
Castleford Tigers’ top try scorer in 2019 reflects on the season coming to a close after losing the second Eliminator Game of the Play-Offs series.
It’s been a tough season for the Fords with injuries resulting in changes to the starting lineup week after week but one of the regulars in 2019 has been on the right wing. James Clare has featured in 29 matches for Cas across the campaign and ended the year as the club’s top try scorer with 15 scores on the board, showing that he’s been reaping the benefits of being a regular starter in Daryl Powell’s matchday lineup.
“I’ve enjoyed it, I’ve really enjoyed it because this is an extremely talented team so to play as many games as I have this year makes me feel so proud to have done that in a quality team. It’s one of those things though, I would trade all the tries I’ve scored for a Grand Final win, so hopefully we can go better next year.”
Following the Tigers’ impressive away victory over Warrington Wolves to get into the second week of the Play-Offs, hopes were high and over 1,400 fans made the journey across the M62 to cheer on the players. However, it was a frustrating finish to the Cas campaign as Salford Red Devils won 22-0 and Clare was clearly disappointed with the performance.
“It’s gutting. Heart-wrenching. I feel like we didn’t do ourselves justice and it’s been a tough year anyway missing some really important players throughout the entire year and we’ve got through some tough times to get to where we are, but I feel like we’ve just fallen at a hurdle there when we could have done a lot more.”
A tough night at the AJ Bell Stadium meant Castleford could not register a point despite spending big periods of the game in control. When asked about where he thought the game went wrong James paid credit to an impressive Red Devils outfit.
“It’s hard to say but I don’t think we were good enough with the ball in hand and we didn’t build any pressure but it’s easy to say that we didn’t build pressure when we didn’t score tries but that just comes on back of some loose defending. Salford are a great team, I don’t think it’s necessarily anything that we did wrong it’s just that Salford were the better team on the night, they played really well as they have for the past couple of weeks and we just couldn’t negate what they do well. Jackson Hastings did extremely well and they kicked the ball just a little bit better than us.”
As 2019 ends for the Castleford Tigers First Team it gives a chance to reflect and review the season and then ultimately get ready for 2020 and Clare hopes that it will finish with the Fords heading to Old Trafford.
“I say it all the time but I’ve supported Cas my entire life and I would love to be there with them in a Grand Final, whether or not that I’m there as a player I don’t care I’d be there as a fan but I want to be there as a Tiger player and help win us that Grand Final.”
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