“His performance was first-class” – Ian Watson hails star player in 36-6 victory

Josh McAllister
Chris McQueen, Ian Watson, SWPix.

Picture by Ed Sykes/SWpix.com.

Huddersfield boss Ian Watson was full of praise for double try-scorer Chris McQueen following his side’s 36-6 victory over Castleford, stating “Lightning McQueen’s back.” 

McQueen, 35, scored his and his side’s first at the John Smith’s Stadium on Friday night, before crossing once again in the second half in the home win.

The back-rower finished the 2022 campaign as the club’s leading try-scorer with 15 altogether, the 11th most in the whole competition.

It was also the most out of any forward last year, with Wigan’s Liam Farrell the next best with 13.

He was joined on the scoresheet by team-mates Will Pryce, Jake Bibby, Lolohea and Leroy Cudjoe against the Tigers, having found themselves 6-0 down early on with a try to George Lawler. 

Watson also praised the performances of Ashton Golding and Cudjoe, with the latter replacing the injured Jermaine McGillvary on the wing.

Ian Watson praises McQueen

“Lightning McQueen’s back,” Watson said in his post-match presser.

“His performance was all about his off the ball efforts. He scrambled hard for the team. He was great with that today. His performance was first-class.”

“Ash Golding was [also] outstanding. I thought he was phenomenal. Leroy [Cudjoe] was also phenomenal, he chased everything really hard.”

Oliver Russell also made his first appearance of the season. The half-back had sustained a knock during the pre-season fixture with Dewsbury, and featured in Huddersfield’s star-studded reserves side last weekend in the win over Wakefield.

He made his return to the first-team with complete composure and control, as well as converting six goals. Meanwhile Theo Fages was forced from the field early on, replaced by Will Pryce, who was initially named on the bench.

“The first five minutes didn’t start our way but it kind of helped us, it refocused us,” Watson said.

“Our pack really stood up after that and were outstanding. Our backline was also outstanding. We’ve got a really competitive backfield who are willing to back themselves and back each other.

“Last week we were really good defensively but clunky with the ball. Today, from the first set, we did what we spoke about.”

“Olly Russell is similar to Theo, his level of composure was great.

“He’s learning, he’s a good kid and very coachable. Olly and Prycey have a really good relationship.”

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