Shenton on ‘special group’ of Tigers

Posted: Sunday 9th February 2020 - 7:00 PM

A win over Wigan is always good to get, but with the team down on personnel and a few young players asked to step up it was an even sweeter victory at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle on Friday night over the Warriors.

Michael Shenton is now into his testimonial year and has already reached big milestones this season including 150 tries for Castleford in the opening fixture against Toronto Wolfpack. In Round Two, Shenton chalked up his 300th Super League match and he has said that he will remember the 16-12 victory not because of his own achievement, but for the spirit shown by the team.

“When you’ve been playing the game as long as I have, I suppose milestones tend to keep coming don’t they? Truthfully, I don’t think this one really matters following the result and I think the performance was a special one,” he said.

“This is a special group which is coming together now really, and you can always see the potential is there from pre-season but until you start the games really you just don’t know. We’ve had a lot of adversity thrown at us within two weeks of the season so it’s truly pleasing but this is a group here that just wants to keep getting better.

“It was a real controlled, composed performance and shows a lot of maturity from some of our young fellas which is great such as Sammy (Sam Hall) and Peachey (Lewis Peachey), to have them on the bench with the challenge in front of us. Whenever you play Wigan it’s always tough but with our backs against the wall like it was and to put in the performance that we did across the board I thought everyone was exceptional.”

Young 17-year-old Sam Hall got to make his senior Tigers appearance on Friday night in a similar vein to how Shenny made his debut back in 2004, both against Wigan and both playing for the Under 18’s Cas side at their time of debut. Now when youngsters are getting set for their first senior appearance the rest of the team try to make it special for the debutant and encourage them to make their mark as Shenton discusses.

“I think this team is a lot more settled than when I came into it to be fair, it’s something that we pride ourselves on that when they come in we try to make it special for their debut and it’s something we spoke about because it was such a big game for Sammy, he’s only been in and around the First Team for a few months.

“It’s now about coming into a great environment, a great culture and that’s what we want and how it should be with the changes we’ve made here so that when people come in, they come into a solid team. As good as it may be to get into a good team, they’ve got to be at the level we’re at and I think our young fellas did that against Wigan.”

The first home game of the season was always going to make for an exciting vibe around the ground but fans were asked to once again #BeTheDifference, to cheer the Cas boys on and to try intimidate the Warriors. Michael was full of praise for the Fords faithful whose vocal support throughout the game spurred the players on to secure a victory.

“The atmosphere was fantastic, big shout out to our fans who massively got behind us in some tough periods especially in that first half where Wigan really stepped up, we noticed our fans step up, we noticed that so thank you to them.

“No matter what The Jungle is always a great atmosphere but that was special for the first home game, we spoke about wanting to make this place a fortress this year and make it a good place to play. Our home fans are such a huge part of that and the more that turn up the better. Obviously, they want the team to play well so it’s a team effort between us and the fans, we want them to keep turning up to watch us.”

#BeTheDifference when Castleford take on local rivals Wakefield for the local #BraggingRights, tickets are on sale in our retail stores and online.

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