Doncaster RLFC: Castle tipping Dons to bounce back in York clash
Mark Castle has twice left the Dons over the years but both coaching staff and fans alike will be hoping there won't be a third time.
Since returning to the club at the start of last season the Castleford-born prop has proved a model of consistency and is one of the first names on head coach Gary Thornton’s team-sheet every week.
Like the rest of his team-mates, Castle was ‘embarrassed’ by the Dons display in Sunday’s 82-6 League One defeat at home to favourites Toronto Wolfpack.
Castle was one of the team’s better performers, taking the ball in strongly at times, but even so his performance on the day was well below the level fans have come to expect.
Castle is the first to admit that he lacks the handling skills of some of his fellow forwards such as Feka Paleaaesina and Jamie Thackray, but compensates with his willingness to take the ball in and try and make the hard yards.
Castle welcomed the signing of the two experienced forwards as well as the return of fellow prop Russ Spiers, and feels the club now have one of the best packs in League One.
“We still aren’t the finished product and we are still getting to know each other’s games,” he said.
“For instance, we’ve not had a regular half-back combination this season due to injuries and suspension.
“We still haven’t played our best but I’m confident it will all come good.
“One of the things we’ve got this season, which we didn’t always have last year when injuries struck, is strength in depth throughout most of the side.
“Zac Braham is a very promising young prop but he’s only started in one game this season due to the competition for places.
“But he’s picking things up in training from such as Feka, Makali (Aizue) and Russ and, hopefully, myself
“We all talk to each other on training nights and try to help each other out and both Zac and Connor (Scott) if they stay with the club are going to be quality players and key players when they get a bit older.”
Castle knows the supporters will expecting a positive reaction to Sunday’s defeat when the Dons step out at York tomorrow.
“It’s obviously a game we’ll be looking to win,” he said.
“They’ve lost a lot of players from last season and have had to rebuild.
“They’ve not made the best of starts, but I’m expecting a tough game.”