CAPTAIN MICHAEL Shenton has delivered a searingly honest assessment of where Castleford Tigers stand after their Betfred Super League campaign got off to a nightmare start.
Tigers were crushed 46-6 at St Helens and Shenton pulled no punches in his review of what went wrong and what needs to be done to put it right.
Last year’s league leaders fell victim to a blistering Saints attacking display which produced eight tries, and Shenton said: “They were very good, there’s no denying that – but it wasn’t just that.”
He stressed: “We were poor, that’s not the standards we’ve set at this club.
“It was unrecognisable from us, for me as a player and – I guess – the people watching.
“We’ve not been accustomed to playing like that. It has been a long time since a team has done that to us.
“It was a bit of both, with Saints pulling off some great stuff, but we gifted them so much.
“The disappointing thing is, we were just not working hard enough.
“There was a bit of dishonesty in there as well and that’s not us, we are not a shortcut team.
“We normally work so hard for each other so it is definitely a big kick up the backside for us.”
Shenton insisted Tigers will put things right. He added: “The only positive to take from it is that it’s just the start of the season. We have seen teams turn it around in the past and that’s what we’ve definitely got to do. We’ve got to make sure we stay tight as a group, because we are a tight group. We didn’t show that [on Friday].
“But we are and we are definitely good enough to bounce back from that – but it wasn’t a great start to the season from us.”
Widnes Vikings visit the Jungle on Sunday and that is now, even at this early stage, a big game for Tigers.
“We have got to look at some of the issues that happened and why they happened,” Shenton insisted.
“Everyone has got to be accountable, that’s the important thing about being a team.
“We are normally like that. Normally if we do get beaten or give a poor performance we bounce back really well. It’s just that we haven’t played like that for a long time and we haven’t had to bounce back from something like that.
“But we are still a quality team – there’s quality players throughout this side.
“I am positive we can do that, but it [last week’s loss] was a tough one to take for us.
“It was a tough one for the fans that travelled over as well and we are massively disappointed with what we served up.”