Shenton backs Cas to recover from Huby loss

Castleford centre Michael Shenton was delighted with the grit his team showed to beat Widnes and book a place at Wembley.

The Tigers won 28-6 at Leigh Sports Village, but lost prop Craig Huby to a dislocated elbow. They now look almost certain to be without a key player when they meet Leeds in the Challenge Cup final.

But Shenton believes that the mentality is such now at Cas that other players will step up and fill the considerable gap left by the front rower’s absence.

“That’s a massive loss for us,” said the centre.

“But there’s no point dwelling on it. We’ve just got to do it for Craig, I suppose now.

“He’ll still be part of our squad, he’s a leader in our team. There’s nothing we can do about it now.

“It just means that someone else has got to step up and fill his role.”

Shenton felt that Cas handled the occasion better than Widnes, and he was particularly pleased that the Tigers dug deep to withstand a renewed Widnes onslaught after halftime.

“I think we deserved a lead going into halftime,” he said.

“We were the dominant team, we were the smarter team, and we were a bit more composed.

“That’s what we spoke about in the week, and building a lot of pressure.

“I think we handled the pressure of the day better than Widnes to be honest.

“But we knew it was going to be an 80-minute game too, so halftime was really important for us to compose ourselves, settle down and not get carried away.

“If they’d have come out and scored first in that second half, it would have really put the pressure on and stirred things up.

“They came out and held us in our own 20 metres a couple of times in the first five or six minutes of the second half, and put us under pressure.

“But that’s the composure I’m talking about – that’s the lesson we’ve learnt.

“Before, we’d start throwing the ball about, and come up with errors in our own 20, when teams did that to us.

“We’ve learned the lesson to just ride that out and get a kick away. Our kickers were fantastic, to be honest.

“Even though the conditions were bad. The ball, you’d think it’d hold up, but it was running dead quite a lot.

“We had the lead, so we could set out line on the 30 and just keep going. There was no whinging, just positive reactions from the whole of the team.

“That shows what we’re about this year, that kind of mentality.

“To have players that are composed and smart in that kind of pressured environment is really pleasing.”

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