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Lee Radford “incredibly proud” despite Castleford Tigers’ defeat to Leeds Rhinos

Going into the 73rd minute, Castleford looked destined for an unlikely play-off spot given the number of players they had out.

Then Leeds nailed a penalty to make it 8-2 and spark something within themselves which saw them miraculously turn thing around with two late tries to take them to fifth spot in the league.

In Radford’s view the game epitomised his side’s season. The Tigers started sloppily but hung un there with grit and determination until they looked like the better side at the start of the second half taking an 8-0 lead through a terrific Jake Mamo try.

However, the Tigers ran out of gas at the end of the game with their problems summed up by the fact it was Greg Eden tasked with attempting what would have been a winning drop goal.

So, despite missing out on the play-offs, Radford remained proud of his side after a difficult year.

He said: “No matter what’s been thrown at us, we’ve marched forward together. I’m incredibly proud although we didn’t achieve our season goal we’ve overcome all the obstacles that have been thrown at us.

“When you’ve given everything and you’ve got nothing left you can accept that. No one likes losing but if you’re not going to get there, that’s the way to do it.”

Reflecting on the year, he admitted he underestimated the difficulties of transition and believed that player availability was perhaps what lost them their place in the play-offs noting just how good they were mid-season with everyone fit: “I underestimated the transition for the first six or seven weeks. I didn’t realise that it would take so long to change habits – and I’m not saying those habits are wrong – in certain individuals.

“There’s been buying in, a game that springs to mind is the Wigan game. We got beat but the group bought into how we wanted to play from there we built and built and built.

“So when that mid-season period game when we had more players available, thought we looked really tidy. But like today’s fixture we just ran out of gas.”

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