Faulkner reflects on Cup opener

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After a long winter break, the Castleford Tigers Women’s new era began on the field against Wakefield Trinity last weekend for their opening group game of the Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup.

Trinity forced their way into a 12-0 lead at The Jungle early on, however, the Tigresses put in a spirited response with Tally Bryer producing a couple of fantastic steps to run in from 30 metres in the first half.

Fellow debutant Verity Randall crossed during the second 40 with Wakefield eventually coming out 32-10 victors, although speaking after the game, Women’s Head Coach Matty Faulkner explained how proud he was with his side’s application in their first game of 2022.

“I was really happy to see the girls run out for the first time on the weekend. There are a lot of new girls in the group, and I thought the effort and attitude was outstanding from all of them.

“We still have work to do but we have to stay positive because we have come a long way in such a short space of time. We will take the positives out of everything we do and that is what we have been doing over the last few weeks.”

Faulkner and his staff have been extremely busy behind the scenes recruiting talent into a new look squad and despite the fact that there are plenty of new faces, Faulkner has been pleased with how the group has gelled and applied that into their performance on Sunday.

“We were a bit nervous for the first five to ten minutes which showed by Wakefield getting those two early tries. We then managed to really compete with them for the rest of the game and the attitude and effort from all of them was outstanding.

“It’s a group with a lot of youngsters in but they showed up really well. Our two young half backs directed us around the pitch well and then we had good energy from our edges.

“I’m really pleased and happy with how they went.”

The Women’s side come up against Oulton Raidettes in their next Challenge Cup group match, who suffered a 30-10 loss to Featherstone in the first round of games.

Cas’ Head Coach put forward what improvements he is keen to see next time out and claimed that it should be another tough fixture.

“Moving forward I think we will give ourselves a better of chance of winning if we control the ball a little bit more. We had plenty of opportunities to do that on the weekend, but our execution and skill let us down a little bit.

“Oulton have a lot of girls on the DiSE programme and competed really well in the Championship last year. They have recruited well and gave Featherstone a good game. We are hoping we can go toe to toe with them and keep competing.

“It should be a good game and we will build on the performance that we put in this week.”

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