Castleford Tigers: Cas’ kicking jewels craft exciting partnership

Liam Finn.
Liam Finn.
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CASTLEFORD TIGERS scrum-half Liam Finn has revealed how a pre-season kicking duel led to Marc Sneyd becoming the club’s ace marksman this year.

Sneyd – Finn’s half-back partner – took over kicking duties from Kirk Dixon halfway through Tigers’ second game of the campaign and has missed just once in 19 attempts since – a success rate of 94.73 per cent.

Finn – who holds the world record for most successful consecutive attempts at goal from his time at Featherstone Rovers – said: “Kirk Dixon was first-choice, but he didn’t play in the friendly against York, so we had to decide on a kicker.

“Me, Sneydy and Jordan Tansey had a 10 kick competition. Sneydy got 10 out of 10, I got nine and Jordan got nine. Sneydy kicked in that game and it’s gone on from there.

“I am happy for him to do it – it gives you a nice rest after a try. You get to saunter back for the kick off and not have to think about anything else.

“Kicking goals is something I have never been desperate to do, or have had a problem doing. I will do it quite happily and still keep practicing, but if somebody else is knocking them over for fun – which Sneydy is – I have no problem with that.”

Assessing his own form this year – and his combination with Sneyd – Finn added: “I am certainly enjoying being in Super League and I hope we can continue our form and I can kick on a bit personally and keep improving.

“I am relatively pleased with my own performances in the first four games, though not last week against Hull. I was disappointed with that. I am still adjusting a bit to Super League, it is nice to get a few pats on the back, but I still think I’ve got plenty of improvement in myself and in the [half-back] partnership with Marc.

“I didn’t know anything about him before this year, but he is a talented bloke and he has got all the skills. He’s still young as a half-back and I am sure he’s going to kick on and become a good Super League player.”

Finn played in Super League for Halifax and Wakefield in 2003 and 2004, but spent the next nine seasons in the lower divisions with Dewsbury Rams and Featherstone Rovers and admitted he had given up any hope of a top-flight return.

He said: “I don’t think the chance would ever have come around again if it hadn’t been for a former coach – who knows what I can bring to a team – joining a Super League club.”

Meanwhile, Tigers will not appeal against Tansey’s three-match ban for pushing referee Tim Roby during last week’s win over Hull.

The full-back was found guilty of making “deliberate contact with a match official” and Cas coach Daryl Powell said: “I don’t think he meant to push him as hard as he did. They got a quick play-the-ball and it looked like they were going to make a line break and that meant Jordan was under a fair bit of pressure defensively.

“You don’t want to be making contact like that with the referee, but I can understand what Jordan was thinking.

“I understand the RFL’s point of view as well that you don’t want to see referees being made contact with in that way.

“It’s unfortunate for Jordan, I think there’s a little bit of an example there, which is disappointing, but that’s the way it is.”

Luke Dorn will return for Sunday’s trip to Salford Red Devils.

And Powell said he would have dropped Tansey anyway for a below-par performance against Hull.

Nathaniel Peteru

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