Youngster Riley Dean has praised the more experienced professionals within the ranks at Castleford Tigers for helping him to develop as they look to beat the drop.
The 21-year-old is on a loan deal at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle from Warrington Wolves until the end of the season.
And having started both of the previous two games for the Tigers, Dean just wants to continue learning from those around him.
Riley Dean relishing loan opportunity
The half-back said: “I’m loving my time here, all the lads are great, and I’m really enjoying it. I’m going week to week at the moment and trying to put some good performances together.
“Having the opportunity to string them back-to-back can only be good for me. [The more experienced lads] are very good at what they do, they’re very silky.
“Hopefully they can lead me on to be a better player if I can jump on the back of them. In training, there’s a lot of experienced blokes there, and if I can take even just 1% from them every day, then I’ll have learned a lot.”
Dean desperate for first victory as a Tiger
Making his Super League debut for Warrington in 2019, Castleford is Dean’s fifth loan spell but a first in the top tier.
His four previous have all come in the Championship, including Featherstone Rovers where he was earlier this year. Scoring five tries and kicking 23 goals in 11 appearances, the youngster was part of a successful team in Sean Long’s runaway leaders.
The tale at Castleford hasn’t been as rosy so far, losing out to both St Helens and Leigh Leopards. With Hull FC up next tomorrow, the Ireland youth international says his desire to win is as strong as ever.
“There’s no difference for me as a [loan] player, every time I step out onto the pitch I just want to win.” Dean told Love Rugby League.
“It pains me not to win, and losing always hurts, so every time I go on, I pride myself personally on trying to win everything.
“Last week against Leigh, we played well for probably 50 or 60 minutes. In the 20 or 30 minutes that we didn’t, they executed their game plan to get over us.
“It’s the same for every team in the comp, but if we can string an 80-minute performance together then we’ll have done a good job. That’s got to be the aim.”
Castleford need to put last few weeks behind them
Tigers boss Andy Last spoke earlier today about a ‘sombre’ changing room following last week’s narrow defeat to Leigh.
That loss wasn’t aided in any shape or form by the news that on the same night Wakefield Trinity had beaten Wigan Warriors via golden point.
Those two results combined leave Wakefield just two points below Castleford with nine games to go, and the pair at present are the two candidates for relegation. For Dean however, the only way is up.
He added: “We’ve talked about it and all we can do is look forward. We’re still in the driving seat as we’d like to think, so we’re looking forward.
“If we look after ourselves, then the rest will probably look after itself.”