Castleford Tigers v Wakefield Trinity - Patient approach pays off for Ryan Hampshire
IN-FORM Ryan Hampshire maintains he always believed he would make the most of his chance at Wakefield Trinity '“ once it materialised.
The elusive half-back has had to bide his time since leaving Leigh Centurions and joining on a 12-month deal at the start of this season.
At times, he had to settle for a place at full-back or on the bench but – following Liam Finn’s move to Widnes Vikings in July – has now played eight successive games in his favoured scrum-half role alongside Jacob Miller.
Wakefield-born Hampshire has been in fine fettle and showed his electric pace yet again with a brilliant 60m solo try in last week’s win against Catalans Dragons.
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“It’s great; I’m just enjoying playing regular football at the moment,” he said, ahead of tonight’s derby at Castleford.
“I’ve been patient and knew if I got a bit of a chance I’d take it. That was always the plan at the beginning of the year – be patient.
“I knew the time would come. That one against Catalans was probably the best try of my career and I’m looking for more in the next couple of weeks.
“I’ve had a few assists as well. I’m in Super League’s top-ten this year – and with the least amount of game-time so things are good.”
It remains unclear what his plans are for 2019 but Hampshire revealed: “I think in the next few days something will be sorted (with Wakefield). I have really enjoyed my time here.”
Hampshire, 23, started his career with Wigan Warriors but spent the 2016 season on loan at Castleford, eventually finding himself on the wing, bizarrely, and with genuine success.
He recalled: “We had no wingers so I just volunteered to play there. I think I had about 10 games out wide and did really enjoy it. It’s going to be good going there – Wakefield haven’t beaten Cas for nearly four years so we owe them one for the fans.”
Castleford have, indeed, won the last 10 meetings between the clubs. Hampshire has seen at first-hand what they are capable of and – while Wakefield look to clinch fifth – he believes his former team-mates could go on and win at Old Trafford.
“I think so and they have so many quality players,” he added.
“Last year really helped them get there (top four) this year but I think the semi-final will be harder than the actual final.
“If it’s Wigan away that will be tough – and the best game in the play-off series.”