Castleford Tigers v York City Knights: Clark proves a star of the future

Remember the name – Castleford Tigers believe they have a good one coming through the ranks in the shape of young hooker Daryl Clark.

Members of Tigers' backroom staff have been speaking highly of Clark's potential and he got a first opportunity to strut his stuff at senior level in Cas' 62-10 rout of York City Knights in their opening pre-season game.

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He didn't disappoint. Introduced in the second half, Clark looked totally at home and caught the eye with a dazzling solo try – a dash to the line which left the visitors' defence flat-footed.

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"He was really sharp out of dummy-half," commented Cas coach Terry Matterson. "He is going to be a very good player in the future."

It's not a bad problem to have, but Cas boast another highly-rated young hooker in England academy captain Adam Milner, who started against York at loose-forward and who also had a spell in the halves.

"He's a good player as well, he's smart and any smart hookers can play in the halves for us," said Matterson. "He slotted in there really well and got a lot of game time.

"Captaining the under-18s has helped him to mature and he's really going to be pushing for a first-team spot this year."

Centre Jordan Thompson, another England academy star, also staked a claim. He was devastating on the right flank and produced a moment of magic with a break and pass to put Sam Orange in for probably Tigers' best try.

Michael Shenton's departure to St Helens has opened an opportunity for Thompson and also for Joe Arundel, who impressed on the left side and who also kicked five conversions from six attempts.

"Jordy was really good," Matterson said. "He is looking strong. That's probably the area we are lightest with experience, so I was pleased to see him and Joe go so well."

Of the recruits, Richard Mathers lasted only 18 minutes before being taken off with a sprained hand, though Matterson said after the game that the injury was not serious.

Nick Youngquest scored a try on his first appearance, Danny Orr's half-back partnership with Rangi Chase – who scored one try and was involved in four others – showed real signs of promise and Jake Emmitt had a solid game at prop.

Tigers led 28-4 at the break and maintained their dominance in the second period, when all their senior players were off the field.

An impressed Matterson described Tigers' performance as "encouraging".

He said: "I was really pleased with all our young guys, they looked really strong.

"Guys like Rangi Chase, Danny Orr and Ryan Hudson were really solid and it was a good hit-out.

"We always planned to take the senior guys off at about half-time and give the kids a go.

"The scoreline wasn't the issue, it was just about how we went about things. The kids kept the momentum going in the second half.

"We wouldn't have been able to do that a couple of years ago.

"We may have to call on some of these young guys this year – and guys like Danny Holmes, who came on the wing, really put their hand up. That was very pleasing."

Kirk Dixon bagged 16 first half points through two tries and four goals, with Chase, Milner and Youngquest also crossing.

After the break Greg Eden, the impressive Billy Harris, Orange, Clark, Ryan Brierley and John Davies completed the drubbing.

York's tries came after Eden and Holmes failed to deal with kicks,

Duane Straugheir – the ex-Featherstone centre and Steve Lewis touching down, with Lee Waterman adding a goal.

Castleford Tigers: Mathers, Dixon, Arundel, Thompson, Youngquest, Chase, Orr, Emmitt, Hudson, Walker, Holmes, Davies, Milner. Subs (all used) Picketts, Payne, Holmes, Clark, Eden, Blackmore, Harris, Siddons, Brierley, Orange.

York City Knights: Haynes, Sutton, Straugheir, Bush, Wilson, Thorman, Presley, Freer, Lee, Benson, Lewis, Barron, Esders. Subs (all used) Stearman, Stamp, Mitchell, Woods, Jones, Burns, Barlow, Waterman, Garside.

Referee: Tim Roby (Preston).

Attendance: 1,716.

Bristol City boss Lee Johnson

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