WORLD’S BEST winger Ryan Hall reckons teenager Ashton Golding is a star of the future.
Golding made only his fifth senior appearance when he replaced the injured Zak Hardaker at full-back for Leeds Rhinos in last Friday’s 32-18 home defeat by St Helens.
Golding, who celebrated his 19th birthday on the day of the game, was targeted by Saints, but coped well under heavy pressure and Hall predicted: “He has got a very bright future ahead of him.
“He has got an old head on very young shoulders.
“He is only 19, but if he does all the right things I am sure we will see the best from him.”
Boss Brian McDermott was also happy with Golding’s contribution.
The youngster recently returned from a long spell on the sidelines with a back injury and McDermott said: “I thought he was solid.
“I thought he had some challenging moments and he had to come up with some big plays in offence and defence.
“Part of his progression is playing against a dominant St Helens and being pretty much under the cosh for the majority of the game.”
Meanwhile, Hall admitted Rhinos can’t afford any more slip-ups after their two-month, seven-game winning run came to an end.
“Friday was the first game we’ve lost in the Super-8s and hopefully it will be the last,” he said.
“It would be very naive of us to think we could go through the whole of the Super-8s without a loss.
“Luckily we were in a good position before last week and hopefully it won’t be too much of a set-back.”
Hall felt the Challenge Cup final victory six days earlier had a bearing on last Friday’s result.
He added: “We were trying to put the Cup final to the back of our mind and trying to con ourselves into thinking it wasn’t that big of a deal, but in reality it did take quite a bit out of us. We have to snap out of it now.”