Castleford Tigers' Danny Richardson back on the up after tough year: Half-back in good shape ahead of Wakefield Trinity derby
Half-back Danny Richardson reckons he is finding his form for Castleford Tigers after an inconsistent campaign.
With Jake Trueman having undergone back surgery, Richardson will continue his partnership with Gareth O’Brien in Saturday's derby at home to Wakefield Trinity.
And the 24-year-old play-maker feels he will get better with every game under his belt.
“I’ve had a bit of an up and down year,” Richardson reflected.
“I’ve been in and out, I picked up a couple of injuries and on the back of that my form has not been where I wanted it to be.
“But I am really finding my feet again now, I’m getting a run of games and playing alongside Gaz, we are forming a decent partnership.
“Hopefully we can continue that and continue winning games for Cas and see where we are at the end of the year.”
Of his performances earlier in the campaign, Richardson admitted: “It probably takes five or six games to get to the level you want to be, in terms of your sharpness, passing and kicking.
“I picked up an injury to my wrist about two weeks before the season started, which set me back a bit and I’ve had a bit of a recurring shoulder injury.
“It is such a pivotal position, you have one bad game and it’s on your shoulders, so it’s good to be back in now and getting a run of games.
“I can only see myself finishing the season stronger because of that.”
Richardson is in the second season of the three-year deal he signed after joining Tigers from St Helens.
A spell out of the team led to doubts about his future at the club, but he has spoken to incoming coach Lee Radford and insisted: “I am a Castleford player next year.”
Tigers are also in resurgent form and will go into the derby on the back of wins at Leeds Rhinos and St Helens.
“Everyone’s buzzing and there’s a lot of happy faces around the camp,” Richardson said.
“With what happened at Wembley, the league could probably have gone one of two ways.
“As a group we’ve decided to stay switched on and have a real turn of events.
“With the win against Leeds and then the one at Saints, that was massive for us.
“The mood has completely changed and we’re all ready to rip in now for the rest of the year.”
Richardson put Tigers’ turnaround in fortunes, after a run of only two wins in their previous 10 matches down to “our belief”.
He said: “We’ve not complicated things.
“We’ve just looked at each other and said ‘look at the talent we’ve got in the squad’.
“Everyone can play rugby league to a high level and we’ve got a do or die attitude in terms of defence.
“You might get lads misreading or whatever, but there’s always someone there cleaning up.
“If you want to do anything in this competition, that’s the attitude you need to have, especially in the big games.”
Trinity snapped out of a five-match losing run with a stunning home victory over high-flying Warrington Wolves last Sunday and Richardson expects them to be “right up for it” on Saturday
“We are pretty much focused on us,” he stressed.
“There’s no point in us winning the last two games if we’re going to let ourselves down at home this week.
“We are raring to go and expecting fireworks.”
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