Lee Radford favors the English style of play after being part of Samoa’s World Cup run

LEE Radford knows one thing, having experienced life at the top of the rugby league world – he would rather play the game as it is here than in the NRL.

The Castleford boss is back to business as usual after helping Samoa to an historic World Cup final and dashed England’s hopes in the process.

Lee Radford was part of Samoa's team as they reached a historic World Cup final


Lee Radford was part of Samoa’s team as they reached a historic World Cup finalPhoto credit: SWPIX.COM

Working with superstars like Jarome Luai, Joseph Suaalii and Brian To’o has taught him a lot – and there will be some changes at Wheldon Road.

But while those who ply their trade Down Under do things in a way with two umpires that jerk faster, he’d rather play rugby.

Radford said: “If it ever comes down to having two umpires here, I would definitely not be in favor of it – there are two ways to skin a cat.

“The NRL is quick and fast but given the speed of the ruck down there they play less rugby than we do.

“Here you can put more people in a tackle, you have to play more for that. You need to move the ball more from east to west.

“I prefer playing rugby to low-risk rugby league.


“They don’t have time on the ground in the NRL so the game looks different. That caused problems for Samoa in the first game against England, it was a shock.

“The jerk speed was so slow in comparison. Some of the things you can do here you just can’t do in the NRL. You have a second referee on your back telling you to move and fold.

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“Samoa did some things differently than we did at Cas – there will be a few different technical things that will change.

“It’s nothing revolutionary, they’re just putting more focus on certain areas of the field. But you still preach the same things.

“They still matter whether you play international, club or amateur rugby. There are areas where you have to be good to be successful.”

Gareth Widdop is Castleford's big signing for 2023


Gareth Widdop is Castleford’s big signing for 2023Photo credit: CASTLEFORD TIGERS

Radford isn’t the only Castleford man to lose to Australia in a World Cup final – new signing Gareth Widdop was part of England’s agonizing 6-0 defeat in 2017.

But the knowledge of having been there and seen it, as well as having done it in the NRL, will prove crucial.

That’s how he’ll keep a smile on the half-back’s face and get his hands on the ball.

Radford added: “Gareth will be really good for us and I’m sure he will develop into a really important player.

“It will be both mental and playful and he comes to training with a smile on his face. That’s one of the reasons for his move, he wanted to enjoy rugby again.

“And we think we can get the best out of him if he enjoys it. Gareth plays what he sees and responds to a line of defense – as a coaching staff we try to encourage guys who risk their arm and he’s one of those who does that.

https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6920466/england_world_cup_samoa_lee_radford/ Lee Radford favors the English style of play after being part of Samoa’s World Cup run


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