Castleford Tigers: A view from the pitch - Mathers

Ritchie Mathers in match action.
Ritchie Mathers in match action.
Have your say

IF you went down to Cardiff, I hope you enjoyed the weekend.

I certainly did. It was great to break my Millennium Stadium duck and to get my first win for Castleford, on my debut.

I know not everybody was impressed, but I thought it was a good event and I hope Millennium Magic continues next year.

It’s a great concept, having all the teams and fans in one place at the same time. It might not work in some other sports, for obvious reasons, but it does in our game.

Cardiff is a fantastic sporting city and I really like the stadium, which is world class. Yes the crowds could have been better, but I think that will come if we stick with it.

From a Castleford Tigers point of view, it was a good start to the year. We didn’t play our best, but we got the win, which is the most important thing.

We scored 40 points, but weren’t happy about letting 20 in. The real positive is that we’ve won without being totally on-song, so there’s plenty of pluses to build on.

I thought the best team over the two days were Huddersfield Giants – and we play them next, on Saturday.

I was really impressed with them.

I saw the first 40 minutes of their game live and obviously I have watched it since and they are going to be a tough side to beat this year.

They are my tip as dark horses and on last weekend’s evidence, they will definitely be in the mix. They are really well coached by Nathan Brown, they play good rugby and they are an abrasive sort of team, who get in your face and put you under pressure.

Danny Brough has started the season on fire and if he continues in that form, he’s going to have a big year.

We will have to be on top of our game, but it is a big occasion for us, being at home and in front of the Sky TV cameras and hopefully a near full-house.

There’s a lot for us to work on, in attack and defence, but if we tidy up a few things and do the basics right, there’s no reason why we can’t get a good result.

It looks like we might be facing Dale Ferguson for the second week running, which will be a bit strange.

I was shocked when I heard he had been sold by Wakefield, but unfortunately that’s the sort of situation they are in now.

I think it must have been a blow to the coaching staff – especially with Sam Obst also leaving – but you can’t blame the players. They have to think of their families and it is a very uncertain time at Wakefield at the moment.

From what I have heard, the administrator has made the decision and it is up to him to get what cash he can from the club’s assets, which in rugby league means the players.

He is just doing his job, but I hope they can hang on to the rest of their senior squad, because it will be a tough year for them if any more leave and any new owner won’t have a team to take over.

I really feel for everybody there, especially the people who are worried about their jobs.

I know a lot of people are talking about franchises and it coming down to a choice between Castleford and Wakefield, as to who misses out.

It seems like one club is going to get the boot, but I’m not sure that’s the right way to go about it.

They both deserve to be in Super League.

Like Castleford, Wakefield are a good club with a big history and a lot of tradition and it will be a real shame whichever misses out.

Castleford Tigers forward Mike McMeeken. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Castleford Tigers: Grand Final defeat will always rankle says McMeeken