Castleford Tigers' Lee Radford hails ex-Leeds Rhinos man Jack Broadbent, pledges changes v St Helens
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Radford felt Broadbent’s performance was one of the few positives to come out of Tigers’ 32-30 defeat at Hull last Sunday.
“I thought he came off the bench and gave us some energy,” the Tigers boss said of the 22-year-old.
“He got a couple of half-break opportunities and I thought his decision making on them was really tidy.”
Broadbent was released by Leeds midway through last season and had a spell at Featherstone Rovers before joining Tigers.
“He’s had a good energy about him in pre-season,” Radford added. “He is a good kid, he trains hard and I thought what he showed in pre-season was reflected in his performance against Hull.”
Radford has promised team changes for Sunday’s visit of newly-crowned world champions St Helens following Tigers’ round one setback.
Adam Milner, Albert Vete, ex-Leeds man Muizz Mustapha and Cain Robb could all come into the coach’s thinking, but Daniel Smith - who played on loan for Halifax last week - is unavailable because of badly gashed foot.
“We were in a luxurious position last week with regards to selection,” Radford said. “Being able to tell so many people they weren’t playing is a privilege as a coach.
“Hopefully that can happen many times this year. With the changes that are going to be made this week, I really hope these fellas take their opportunity with both hands and put their best foot forward. If that happens, we’ve got more chance of doing it as a team.”
Radford admitted the reason for last week’s poor performance, after a positive pre-season, is a mystery.
“It happened last year,” he recalled. “There was an incredible build-up to last year’s first game and we put in a similar performance.
“I was very disappointed, we had a great training week and I didn’t see it coming. In our opening set of six we went away from everything we’d spoken about doing defensively. I was scratching my head, slightly, but it’s a real opportunity to bounce back this week.”
Saints are expected to rest players following their return from Australia and the emotion of last week’s triumph over Penrith Panthers could make it a good time to play them.
But Radford insisted “Whether we play St Helens or someone expected to finish bottom of the table, if we throw last week’s performance in there there’ll only be one outcome. Whoever the opposition is, we have to perform and show a response.”