In life, they say one man’s misfortune is another man’s gain: and Tom Holmes can certainly testify to that.
The 21-year-old would have been forgiven for thinking opportunities may be hard to come by at Castleford this year as the Tigers began to sweep aside all before them in the early weeks of the season.
But when Rangi Chase’s time with the club finally came to an end, it gave Holmes the sniff of an opportunity that, so far at least, he has taken with both hands. The Castleford-born half-back scored his first try of the season last week against Leeds at Magic Weekend as the Tigers solidified their position at the top of the league – and Holmes wants Cas to produce something similar tonight against Widnes to help fulfil his sizeable ambitions for his hometown club in 2017.
“We’re on a good streak, aren’t we,” he said.
“If we get these next two done it stands us in good stead and it really helps us cement that top spot. We want to win something this year and I can really see it happening.
“But anyone can beat anyone in this league and there’s been some big upsets – but we’re a good side at home and we want to keep this form up at home.”
Holmes has spent time out on loan with Batley and Oxford before becoming more of a regular fixture in the Cas side in recent weeks: and he admits he’s grateful to coach Daryl Powell for his guidance thus far.
He said: “I knew it would be tough to get in the team.
“There’s some good players here and I’ve been out on loan to Oxford and Batley and that’s really helped me. I’m really grateful Daryl has given me the opportunity to start a few games since Rangi left and it’s really helped.
“Since I’ve been full-time Daryl has always pushed me to challenge myself and go further and compete with the quality halves we’ve got. I’ve listened and I’m just trying to string some consistent games together.
“We’re on a roll at the moment and we’re keen to get these next two games ticked off too.”