Scott Murrell comes out of retirement at 37 to help League 1 minnows pull off shock victory

Sebastian Sternik
Scott Murrell and Andy Last, SWPix

Scott Murrell celebrates a Castleford Tigers victory with head coach Andy Last

Castleford assistant coach Scott Murrell played the full 80 minutes for Midlands Hurricanes on Sunday as the League 1 minnows pulled off a shock victory over promotion-chasing Doncaster.

The 37-year-old, who spent the large portion of his playing career at Hull KR and Halifax Panthers, orchestrated the Hurricanes across the park as the team picked up the 41-10 victory away in South Yorkshire – just their third win of the season.

This was the first win for head coach Mark Dunning who arrived at the club following his departure from Bradford Bulls last May.  

“I’ve known him for a long time, we talk regularly,” said Dunning when asked about Murrell.

“I saw that he played for the Castleford reserves recently. We actually signed him three weeks ago, but he picked up a little injury in training so didn’t play for a couple of weeks.  

“We signed him for his top two inches, not his legs. Yeah, we know that the legs are not what they used to be, but I think you saw that the top two inches are as sharp as they ever have been.  

“He conducted the game perfectly, exactly how we wanted him to. He got the side round the field and dictated everything. I was delighted with him.” 

Scott Murrell: I don’t know if this is going to be a one-off, I’ll tell you in the morning!

Murrell admitted Sunday’s match was a one-off, though he hasn’t ruled out another future appearance.  

He said: “I just do whatever Mark (Dunning) said. Midlands have been training down at Castleford all year and since Mark’s been here, he’s been asking me to play.  

“I don’t know if this is going to be a one-off. I’ll tell you in the morning!

“I’ve been coaching at Castleford now, coaching reserves and they were short a couple of weeks ago so I put my hand up to play. Mark’s been asking me to play down here so who knows, we’ll see what happens.” 

Castleford youngster impresses for Midlands on dual-reg

Looking back at Sunday’s result, Murrell pointed to a much-improved defensive showing as one of the key reasons behind the result for the Hurricanes.

He added: “How we defended, I think we set the tone early on when they had six sets on our line and didn’t get over.  

“It was the attitude to defend. We spoke about it before the game, we’ll attack through our defence. We attacked Doncaster coming out of yardage. In them conditions we forced a couple of errors and got some good field position.  

“Jacob Hookem on dual-reg from Castleford had a great game kicking, putting them on the back foot.

“Our middles defended for each other and that’s what happens when you work as a team, you come out with a victory.” 

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