Castleford Tigers’ Paul McShane backs Leeds Rhinos to come good
Former Rhinos hooker Paul McShane believes his old club will come good this year.
McShane was part of the Castleford Tigers side which won 30-8 at Emerald Headingley last week, leaving Rhinos deep in relegation danger.
While Tigers are eyeing a visit to Old Trafford in October, Rhinos’ only focus is on staying in Betfred Super League for 2020 and McShane feels they will do that.
Rhinos are 10th, ahead of London Broncos, who they play on Sunday, and Hull KR on points difference, but McShane predicted they will turn things around.
“Being a Leeds lad it’s not nice to see,” he said of the eight-time Grand Final winners’ current plight.
“But they have got some great young kids.
“I thought [Harry] Newman was outstanding against us.
“They are probably a bit like us, they need to get that confidence back and when they do things will soon start clicking.”
Tigers’ self-belief is on the rise after the win at Leeds which ended a four-game losing run.
It lifted them two places to fifth in the table and their play-offs hopes are back in their own hands.
“We’ve not been playing too great so the main thing was getting a win and getting that feeling back,” McShane admitted.
“I think the lads really dug in and showed a bit of desperation to get the win. It was probably one of the most disciplined performances we’ve had with the ball this year.
“Truey and Cory [half-backs Jake Trueman and Cory Aston] had a fair bit of control and we built a platform off our forwards running hard, which is the simple part of the game.
“Towards the end we started getting a bit more joy, which was a bit more like the old Cas.”
McShane said that “desperation” was the key for Cas.
He added: “We knew Leeds were going to be hungry for the two points as well.
“They’ve not been in a great situation, like us, so I put it to the lads about having a bit of desperation and who wanted it most.
“We showed that.
“It has been a tough few weeks, we don’t play the game to lose.
“We don’t like losing, we play the game to win, especially for our fans.
“They’ve followed us up and down the country and when our performances haven’t been there they’ve still been there at the end of the game supporting us, so it was important not just for us, but for the fans and the club as a whole.”
McShane reckons the win last week has given Tigers fresh momentum for Sunday’s showdown with leaders St Helens which closes the Magic Weekend at Liverpool’s Anfield Stadium.
He said: “We have shown when we get things right we can compete with anyone.
“Saints are a great side, but we have got to concentrate on us and being the best we can.”
Jordan Rankin’s return from long-term injury will strengthen Tigers’ squad and give coach Daryl Powell more options in the backs.
“He came in at short notice in pre-season, but he slotted straight in,” McShane recalled.
“He was doing well for us and unfortunately he got a knock.
“Cory has come in and played well so there’s a bit of healthy competition there.
“I think competition drives you.”