Massey on setting standards

Posted: Monday 23rd March 2020 - 8:00 AM

2019 Super League champions St Helens are a very strong rugby league side as was reflected by their dominance last season, but with both Cas and Saints wanting to bounce back from close defeats the Round 7 clash at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle between the two clubs was bound to be a main event match.

The Fords were victorious 28-14 with their best performance of the campaign so far and Nathan Massey wants the team to perform at that high standard in every match.

“I think it was the first time we stuck to a game plan this year and it all came together so good with a brilliant performance in the first half especially, going into the second we got a bit looser but across the 80 minutes it was great and set the standard we want for this season,” he said.

“We talk a fair bit about our own standards on the field and what level we want to play at every week and we spoke after a tough loss to Warrington where we should have walked away with some points but ultimately didn’t deserve it. So, the performance against Saints is what our standard needs to be, game to game throughout the year.”

If you have seen this week’s Inside Super League you will have got a behind the scenes look at a Castleford Tigers training session ahead of the game against the Saints in which Head Coach Daryl Powell speaks about the team’s line speed needing to be quicker. Fast forward to the game itself you can see his words in practice were placed onto the field by the players.

“We had a goal to beat them at line speed which we might have lacked a little in previous matches and it meant we really went after them, I think that showed by putting them under pressure with that full first half performance.

“We need to start games big and we hadn’t this year up to that point so against St Helens it was our best start of the season, and so coming back to our own standards we need to stick to that moving forward.”

Castleford’s right-edge has been transformed for 2020 with Danny Richardson linking with Mike McMeeken, Peter Mata’utia in his new centre position and Derrell Olpherts on the wing. That edge has started very strongly with Olpherts scoring six tries, he along with the other new recruits this season have settled in well with the rest of the squad as Massey discusses.

“Credit to Danny Richardson performing how he did against his old team, George who’s new is going great but I thought Big Mikey (McMeeken) was a menace too. Our mix of lads is really good and it’s a good balance, we’re still learning how everyone comes together to play but we’ve shown we’re starting to gel a bit and in upcoming games we should show how well we can perform.”

COVID-19 better known as coronavirus has brought the season to a halt with a suspension in place until April 3rd, the First Team players continue to train but now in smaller groups. Head of Strength & Conditioning Jamie Bell spoke to Tigers TV about the changes to the players training – WATCH HERE.

Despite changes Nathan is confident the Tigers will prepare strongly for whoever it is they will take on next.

“It is what it is and completely out of our control and whatever happens moving forward happens, hopefully we can keep pushing on and build on the Saints win, we’ll do our best to prepare for whenever the next fixture arrives.”

It’s up in the air as to when Fords fans will next be able to cheer on the team at The Mend-A-Hose Jungle but Nathan paid credit to the people who attended the Sunday match against St Helens, and speaks of his preference of playing in front of supporters.

“I think our turnout at the Saints game was really great given the circumstances so credit to the fans who came to help us through the game and those who couldn’t or didn’t we understand totally why. Playing behind closed doors is not something we want to do and I don’t think it would be good for the game but hopefully moving forward we can still keep playing and do it in front of our fans as we go through the year.”

Read more about the decision made by Super League and The RFL to suspend the season HERE.

*** Any further updates or changes will be posted on the club’s website and social media channels to keep supports abreast of the situation. ***

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