“Rip this squad to bits” – Sky Sports pundits slam woeful Castleford

It would be fair to say the 2023 season has not gone according to plan so far for the Castleford Tigers.

After losing their first three games, head coach Lee Radford departed in the week stating he and the club are going in ‘different directions’.

His assistant Andy Last has taken over on an interim basis but his first game in charge has not gone to plan with the Tigers going down 36-6 to Huddersfield at the John Smith’s Stadium.

Speaking prior to the game, Sky Sports pundit Jon Wilkin credited last for learning his trade’ but believes whoever takes over on a permanent basis at The Jungle as to ‘rip the squad to bits’.

“It’s the natural way of things, you’ve got to be an assistant and under some serious head coaches. That’s how you learn your craft before you become a head coach, and Andy Last has done that,” said Wilkin.

He continued: “Whoever comes in has got to rip this squad to bits, they’ve got to start again. It’s nearly 31 years old the average age, it’s the oldest squad in Super League by a mile. Andy Last or whoever gets the job needs to overhaul the squad.”

After the game, despite Wilkin’s fellow pundit Sam Tomkins tipping Last to take on the job permanently prior to the game, he recognised hugely worrying signs in the lost to the Giants and called for Cas to ‘go back to basics’.

“They have got to strip it right back down to the basics. Make sure you tackle to man with the ball, it really is that simple,” said Tomkins.

He added: “Some of the defending out there tonight was really poor and we have seen that across the first four rounds. They need to go back to the basics because you need to be able to defend in this league.

“Look at St Helens, they have won four titles in a row and that all starts with their defence. Castleford need to make themselves hard to beat, hard to score against, otherwise it will be a long season.”

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