Lee Radford hoping Castleford Tigers can ease pressure after winless start

COACH Lee Radford wants Castleford Tigers to play themselves out of their early-season Super League slump.

By Peter Smith
Sunday, 27th February 2022, 5:39 pm

Tigers have lost their opening three games – to Salford Red Devils, Warrington Wolves and 26-10 at Hull KR last Friday – and face a huge game at home to Radford’s previous club, Hull FC, in six days’ time.

Castleford are facing an extended period without scrum-half Danny Richardson, who suffered a fracture to his neck against Salford in round one.

Gareth O’Brien has taken over as Jake Trueman’s partner in the halves and Radford reckons their combination holds the key to a change in fortune.

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Bureta Faraimo is sin binned. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

“We aren’t where we want to be,” conceded the coach, who took charge last November.

“We are working hard in areas and trying to piece it together.

“We need to play more footy.

“Obviously with Danny not there and Gaz having missed a fair bit of pre-season, we need Truey to step up and hold the fort and get us around the field.

“Hopefully this week we can see a fair bit of that.”

Pressure will mount the longer Tigers go without getting off the mark and Radford admitted, even at this early stage, Sunday’s game is “massive”.

He said: “When you’ve lost 
all three, getting the first win is huge for you, just for your confidence.

“You start to over-analyse everything after a loss and after three of them you’re looking under the carpet to see what’s under there as well.

“It is important we get a result.”

Last Friday’s game saw Tigers trail 8-6 at half-time, after being down to 11 men for a spell with both Bureta Faraimo and Liam Watts in the sin-bin.

Castleford’s defence held out when they were two players short and they took the lead before Watts’s return, but a try just before the interval gave Rovers the upper hand.

Radford felt his team “defended exceptionally well” after the yellow cards and insisted at times they did show what sort of team they are capable of becoming.

He said: “There was a period there, with about 10 minutes to go, that was how I want us to play; with our halves on the ball, moving the football around.”