Griffin and Feki on Cas debut

Posted: Monday 20th January 2020 - 12:00 PM

There were plenty of mixed emotions around Wheldon Road this Sunday as the Mend-a-Hose Jungle played host to Castleford skipper Michael Shenton’s testimonial match, however the Tigers were unable to finish the pre-season on a high note, falling 10-16 to the visiting Toronto Wolfpack.

Coach Daryl Powell fielded an experienced side, with many of last season’s first team regulars back in action alongside some of 2020’s newest acquisitions including debutant George Griffin, who reflected on both his individual and the team’s performance after the match.

“It’s my first game, so there were some bits I was happy with, but some penalties I need to sort out and fix up for the first game if selected. Yeah a bit hit and miss. I think we were a bit scrappy in attack, I think our defence at times was really good – they struggled to get out of their own 40 metres at points, but you need to contain a team like that for 80 minutes and we didn’t manage to do that, so a bit scrappy, but that’s what friendlies are for to sort of figure out where you’re at.”

In a back-and-forth game, the Tigers’ latest addition to the pack felt that everyone was able to front up and match the visitors' physicality.  

“When you play a Super League team, it’s always going to be like that and everyone sort of wants their spot for the first game of the season, so everyone stepped it up a gear today. But like I say, bit scrappy, and the pitch was heavy too, so you couldn’t really get going and it was very stop-start, loads of penalties on our side and stoppages."

Sosaia Feki was another of the Tigers’ signings to get a run out and felt pretty positive after first getting acclimatised to the English conditions.

“Yeah, it was pretty good out there – The field was pretty heavy, which I’m not used to, so it was good to get out there and get my legs going!”

The game also saw the winger grab a try on his debut, as he scored at the Wheldon Road end in what he hopes will be the first of many in front of the Cas faithful.

“I was just on the end of a good ball, and scored in the corner and just hearing the crowd go off was exciting and looking around and seeing everyone celebrating was so happy”

Both players will be hoping to line up to face Toronto again at Headingley in their Super League opener, and ahead of the rematch, both Feki and Griffin are hoping that the team will be able to put together a more complete performance.

Sosaia Feki: “Yeah, we’ll go back and review our game and Powelly [Daryl Powell] will tell us what we’ve done wrong and what we’ve done right and hopefully in two weeks’ time, we come out and perform better than how we did today”.

George Griffin: “I think it’s just about contesting for the full 80 minutes I suppose: There were patches where we looked on fire in attack and mainly defence- they struggled to get out their half at points, so yeah it’s just putting that into practice for the full 80. At times we clocked off and they capitalised on that and got a few easy tries.”

With their 2020 pre-season fixtures over, the Tigers will turn their attention to the rematch with the Wolfpack on February 2nd, and will be hoping that an improved performance will allow them to exact a measure of revenge and see them open their Super League account with a win.

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