IN-FORM FRONT-ROWER Andy Lynch has shrugged off suggestions he could be a Man of Steel candidate.
Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell reckons Lynch has been one of the outstanding performers in First Utility Super League this term, but the 34-year-old prop insisted individual accolades are the last thing on his mind.
“I just go out and try to play the game every week to the best I can,” Lynch stated.
“That is all I want to do for Cas at the moment. I don’t take much notice of what anybody says outside of the club, I just get on with my game.”
Powell has described Lynch’s arrival in the off-season as a major factor in Tigers’ transformation from strugglers to genuine contenders for honours, but the player himself said the entire playing group deserve credit for the team’s resurgence.
“It is nice when the coach says things like that, but it is not just down to one player,” stressed Lynch, who began his career at Castleford in 1999 before spells with Bradford Bulls and Hull.
“If you look at how we’ve gone this year, we’ve had a full squad that has contributed to how we are going at the moment. It is down to all the players and the coaching staff as well. Right through, everyone has played their part this year and that’s why we are doing so well.
“I don’t think about individual honours. We work in blocks of four, refocus and then go again. It is not about individual honours, we are about ourselves as a team.
“When we play as a team we come up with some good results and when we don’t and when seven or eight people are off, it proves how poor we can be.”
Centre Michael Shenton and hooker Daryl Clark are also being tipped as Man of Steel contenders and Lynch reckons they are both worthy of recognition.
He said: “They are playing great, they are massive performers for us and when they perform and go well we do get some good results. But we do have some hard-working forwards who perform week-in and week-out and they play off the back of that.”
On form, Lynch could yet force himself into the England reckoning for this autumn’s Four Nations, but he stressed: “I have never thought about it. I haven’t thought about that for a few years.
“I am just happy playing for Cas, trying to keep improving and playing week in and week out. I have just got to concentrate on my career at Cas and do the best I can for Cas Tigers.”
Tigers play their final game before next week’s Tetley’s Challenge Cup semi-final against Widnes Vikings when bottom club London Broncos visit Mend A Hose Jungle on Sunday.
“They have still got some quality players,” Lynch warned. “You don’t want to be the first team to lose to London, so there’s a bit of pressure on us.
“They are going to be coming thinking we’re thinking of the semi-final. We can’t worry about that until Monday morning.
“It is a massive two points for us – I don’t think we can afford to slip any more points this year.
“It is that tight, but luckily last weekend I thought results went for us.
“All we have got to worry about is getting two points every week from now until the end of the year.
“We can’t afford to drop two points, because if we do we could drop from where we are now to maybe fifth or sixth.
“We want to finish in the top-four and if we don’t it will be disappointing. We want to be in the top-four to give ourselves every chance of getting into the Grand Final.”