MERCURIAL half-back Rangi Chase reckons Castleford Tigers will only get better.
Tigers are top of engage Super League following their 40-20 win over Wakefield Trinity Wildcats in Saturday’s Millennium Magic derby.
Cas’ hard-fought win owed much to the skills of Chase, who was one of the players of round one, scoring an interception try, providing the final pass for a Brett Ferres score and for Nick Youngquest’s debut touchdown and handling in the build-up to Tigers’ first four-pointer.
The Kiwi – now in his third year at the club – was happy enough with the result and elements of both his and the team’s performance, but believes there is massive room for improvement.
“It wasn’t a bad start,” he said. “As a team we let them into the game. We could have shut them down early and we didn’t, but hopefully we can improve on that.”
Chase added: “Even though we won we felt like we should have played better. On a personal note, I think I went all right.
“I got a bit excited at times. I had a lot of opportunities and I just wanted the ball in hand, but it was good to get the two points.”
Tigers showed flashes of class on attack, with Chase’s long pass to open up the defence and create a walk-in try for Youngquest being one of the highlights.
“There were some good tries,” said the stand-off. “Sometimes we over-played – and I did that too.
“But hopefully we can gel as a team as the weeks go on. This was a good start to the year for us, but we’ve got Huddersfield on Saturday and that will be a tough game.
“I saw about 10 minutes of their game (against Warrington) at the weekend and from what I saw, they look fairly strong and will be hard to beat, but hopefully we will get up for it.
“We showed some good signs. We didn’t play too well – we scored 40 points but we let in 20.
“I think some of their tries were pretty soft, but hopefully if we get a bit more discipline and work on the little things we will become a better defensive side.
“That will make us stronger and that’ll be our goal for next week, to work on the little things.
“The Huddersfield game will show us where we’re at.
“They are a good team, so all the boys will be looking forward to it.
“I am, it is always a hard tough game against Huddersfield, so I can’t wait for it.”
Perhaps the most encouraging aspect of Tigers’ opening game of the season was Chase’s partnership with new skipper and hometown hero Danny Orr. That’s something the stand-off is looking to develop as the campaign progresses.
He said: “When I knew he was coming to the club I was excited.
“He has been around for a while and he has got a lot of experience. That helped on Saturday, when I was getting too excited he calmed me down at the right times.
“I can learn a lot off him and it was good to have him in the team. Hopefully we will get better and better as a combination.”
Tigers boss Terry Matterson was equally excited at the contribution made by his young guns, Joe Arundel, Jonathan Walker and particularly Adam Milner and Oliver Holmes.
“We have some really good young boys coming through,” Chase said. “They are just starting in the team, but they have trained well and they are only going to get better.
“Hopefully they will keep working, they will improve and it’ll be good to see them develop.”
Matterson is hopeful that hooker Ryan Hudson, who was knocked out after 11 minutes at the weekend and who didn’t return to the action, will be available for Saturday’s game.
Meanwhile, Tigers’ teenage reserve grade back-rower Sam Orange could be out of action until the summer after undergoing shoulder surgery.