All Golds forward Chris Worrall says his sights are firmly set on reaching the League 1 Shield final as the first round of fixtures take place this weekend.
The All Golds travel to Wales on Saturday to face a South Wales Ironmen team that has lost a number of its best players in recent weeks but Worrall says it’s important his side don’t underestimate their opposition. “If you look at the results so far this season you can’t take any game for granted. It’s important we go there with the right attitude and do a job.”
Worrall, who hasn’t missed a game since making his debut in the 48-12 win at Hemel on February 19, has been a model of consistency in his debut season in professional rugby. The former St Helens and Salford academy star says playing week in, week out has made him a better player. “It’s been great to play every weekend. I feel like I’ve gained a lot throughout the season. At the start of the season I wanted to make sure I left everything on the pitch.
“We put a lot of hard effort into pre-season which I think has been a huge factor in my form this year. I try and put everything I’ve got into each game. We’re lucky to be working with some great coaches who have all helped me improve my skills. We’ve done well so far this season but we’re looking ahead now and want to challenge for a place in the Shield final.”
It’s been a tough run of fixtures for the Golden Fern in July, with trips to Barrow and Toronto followed by a home game against Doncaster. Despite losing all three games Worrall says he’s learned a lot playing against players who are likely to be playing in the Championship next season. The trip to Canada was a highlight for Worrall, who played the full 80 minutes against the Toronto Wolfpack in 25 degree heat. “The last month hasn’t been easy for us on the field but I feel I’ve become a better player. The game out in Toronto was incredible. You don’t often get to play in front of 7000 people.
“The whole trip to Canada was great, I enjoyed the experience. The day before the game we went to Niagara Falls and saw a Blue Jays game which was fantastic. The game itself was tough especially in the heat and playing against a full-time side but that’s what we train so hard for. Playing the whole 80 minutes was a mental challenge but the whole squad came together and worked through it which shows what sort of lads we are. The game was a huge learning curve, we were playing against players who have played in Super League and the NRL. After full time we met all the fans which was a lot of fun. It was a great few days.
“We’re really looking forward to the Shield. We’ve shown this season we can beat the big teams, it’s up to us now to be consistent and knuckle down.”