Castleford's [VIDEO] fullback problems this year have been well-documented. Despite the loss of Zak Hardaker, [VIDEO] head coach Daryl Powell refused to delve into the transfer market to replace him. First, Ben Roberts was entrusted in the role, but was moved after five games back to his native stand-off position. Youngster Jake Trueman was then given the nod and impressed, without being spectacular. In the past game and half however, captain Michael Shenton has been the one filling the No.1 shirt despite him only having played one game at fullback for the entirety of his career prior to Castleford's defeat against Hull FC.

Biting on the backside

Powell's refusal to purchase another fullback before the season started has well and truly backfired.

Hardaker was integral to the way Castleford [VIDEO] played in 2017 and the gap he left has been meteoric. The Tigers are far from their free-flowing best and a lot of this is down to the disjointed link-up play between halfbacks and fullback. Yes, Castleford [VIDEO]have first-choice halfbacks Luke Gale and Ben Roberts sat on the sidelines, but even with both of these in the side, the Tigers have failed to hit the dizzy heights of last season.

An inventive and inspirational fullback is key in Rugby League; Ben Barba showed his class in buckets in Saints' 36-18 victory over Castleford in the Challenge Cup, whilst the Tigers had to make do with centre Michael Shenton. Shenton is a brilliant centre, but there is no way on earth that he is a fullback. Furthermore, Powell has England Academy star Calum Turner sat waiting in the wings.

Turner is a natural No.1 and is consistently one of the Tigers' best performers in the academy setup. So why is Powell not giving him a chance? The example of Jack Walker shows that if you are good enough you are old enough. The fact that Powell does not seem to trust his youngsters is very worrying.

Attacking failures

In Castleford's defeat against St Helens, the Castleford pack were superb and took the game to the Saints' forwards. But, when the Tigers got into good field position, their backs let them down and a lot of this was down to the almost robotic attacking play. Jamie Ellis was poor with almost every one of his passes being telegraphed which made it easy for the Saints' defence to shut the play down. Paul McShane is an excellent organiser, but he cannot do it on his own - particularly in a position which is not his forte. Most alarmingly however, the game highlighted just how serious Castleford's fullback situation is.

There was not one moment in the game when Shenton was able to link up with the attack to potentially create an opening.

Jake Trueman came off the bench into the halves and looked far more comfortable there than at fullback, so where do Castleford go from here? Well, surely Calum Turner must be given an opportunity sooner rather than later. He is the only fit and natural No.1 the Tigers currently have on their books.

Plus, what's the point in blooding youngsters if they are never going to be given a chance? Castleford need to pick up their attacking game and quickly before they lose touch with the top four in Super League. Clearly, the only way to do this is to sort out the fullback situation. Roberts, Trueman, and Shenton just don't fit the bill, so it's either time to promote one from within or look elsewhere.