Castleford Tigers' Danny Richardson expects better in Super League this year - from him and the team
After a tough first campaign at Castleford Tigers, half-back Danny Richardson is confident 2021 will see an improvement in his and the team’s fortunes.
Richardson joined Tigers from St Helens at the end of 2019 and scored two tries, 54 goals and a one-pointer in 16 appearances during his debut season.
But the England Knights play-maker accepts he has yet to really show what he can do in Tigers’ colours and that’s something he is looking to put right this year.
Tigers began 2020 in good form, but fell away after the coronavirus lockdown and eventually finished eighth in Betfred Super League.
Richardson admitted: “I feel I, personally, went pretty similar to the team.”
He said: “I had a really good pre-season and felt really good going into the new year, confident and happy and that showed in my performances.
“I thought we were just building, we got some wins together and I thought my performances were improving week by week.
“The last game before the lockdown, against St Helens at home, I felt was my best personal performance and as a team that was our best, most complete performance.
“Then the Covid thing happened and we came back after that, a couple of things happened here and there - I picked up an injury - and we just weren’t flowing.
“It was disappointing, so it was up and down.”
Richardson has now had another full pre-season alongside half-back partner Jake Trueman and predicted that will help them both.
“We only had the one pre-season last year and the seven games before lockdown,” he pointed out.
“We came back after lockdown and Truey picked up an injury and missed a few games, I played two or three without him and then I was injured and we didn’t really play together then.
“It has been good to train for another two or three months and get used to each other again.
“I am sure when the new season starts, week by week we will get better, understanding each other and we will go from there.”
Tigers’ spine looks particularly strong, with star signing Niall Evalds ready to slot in at full-back and Man of Steel Paul McShane established as hooker.
“Macca is going to try and look to kick on and Niall has come in from Salford and been class for the past few years,” Richardson said.
“He is class out of full-back and there’s Gaz [O’Brien] as well who is a great player and can cover full-back and half and put pressure on positions.
“I think we needed that.
“Obviously last year we were probably a little bit light and when a couple of us went down the likes of Millo [prop Grant Millington] were jumping in at half.
“But the other options we’ve got now, if there’s injuries or even a loss of form, will just benefit the team.
“That’s the goal we all want as players.”