NOT MANY players would describe scoring a try in a Grand Final as the worst moment of their career, but that’s how Castleford Tigers’ surprise package Alex Foster feels.
Foster has had a remarkable year, going from Oxford to Old Trafford, but reckons all the gloss was removed by Tigers’ 24-6 defeat to Leeds Rhinos on the biggest stage.
The 24-year-old, who began his career at Leeds and also had a spell with Featherstone Rovers, has made huge progress to become an established member of Betfred Super League’s most consistent team, but admitted he would have swapped everything for a winner’s ring.
Foster crossed for a try on the final play of the game, ensuring Tigers would not be the first team nilled in a Grand Final, but said: “Scoring a consolation try at Old Trafford is probably one of the worst feelings I’ve been through in my life.
“Not having anyone to congratulate you, knowing we had lost the game and not done ourselves justice, was a really empty feeling.
“On a personal note, for all my journey this year, it seems really disappointing we couldn’t have got the win.”
Scoring a consolation try at Old Trafford is probably one of the worst feelings I’ve been through in my life.Castleford Tigers’ Alex Foster
Along with Knaresborough-born Greg Minikin, Foster was one of two former Wetherby Bulldogs players in Tigers’ Grand Final team.
He joined Bradford Bulls from London Broncos a year ago, but was left without a club when the Odsal outfit went bust.
Offered a trial by Tigers, he played his first game of the year for Oxford in Kingstone Press League One to prove his fitness before signing a permanent contract.
The Gloucester-born forward added: “Maybe it will sink in a bit later, but to finish like that is just a massive shame.”
Four days on, the dust is beginning to settle on last Saturday’s showpiece.
Tigers’ squad visited Dublin to celebrate the end of the season and are now on their winter break, but Foster knows they have a long time to dwell on their big game setback.
Pre-season will begin next month with the 2018 league campaign kicking off in February and Foster said: “It is an absolutely massive disappointment.
“To play the way we have this season and be so convincing in what we’ve done and then rack up a performance like that, it has really, really hurt us. I wish we could play again this weekend.
“It’s months until the next game comes around so it’s a long time before we can right the wrongs and a long time to mull over what has happened. I think the best thing we can do is put it behind us and really prepare for next year.
Tigers did collect the league leaders’ shield, having finished 10 points clear of second-placed Leeds, but Foster insisted: “The Grand Final is the big competition. It is the one everyone wants to win and we haven’t won it, we have fallen at the final hurdle. We are really happy we’ve come away with some silverware to give to the fans after 91 years of not finishing top of the major league.
“That’s the major plus, but we should have put a better performance together for the final because that’s what the fans deserve.
“After coming to games week in and week out and watching us play how we know we can play, it is really disappointing.”