AARON MURPHY was hoping for a quiet game against Batley at Mount Pleasant in yesterday’s Tetley’s Challenge Cup fourth-round clash.
But he wasn’t at all surprised that didn’t prove the case.
The 24-year-old in-form utility back switched from the wing to full-back to enable Scott Grix to move to half-back to cover for the rested Luke Robinson.
It prove a smart move, with the reliable Murphy producing a man-of-the-match performance as a rock-solid last line of defence.
The former Wakefield man took a number of challenging high balls with relative ease, mopped up some dangerous grubber-kicks into the in-goal area and also came up with some big tackles at vital times.
And, in the end, that contribution proved highly significant.
“It was a busy day for me, and I kind of knew it would be,” said Murphy.
“I had a spell on loan at Batley the other year, so I know they’ve got some decent players and how well they play the slope.Related content
“They’ve also got the John Kear factor, and everyone knows how much John can get a side ‘up’ for a one-off Challenge Cup tie.
“And there’s no doubt he had Batley ‘up’ for this game against us.
“They couldn’t really have made it any much harder for us, and full credit to them for that.
“To be honest, we always thought when we went in at 4-0 down at the break we could gone on and win the game. We were very confident we’d take full advantage of playing down the slope.
“Fortunately, that’s the way it went, and we’re delighted about that.”
Murphy is now looking forward to this afternoon’s fifth-round draw (3.30 on Radio Five Live), and is also hoping he’ll feature in the tie on the weekend of May 11-12.
“The draw’s always exciting, and I’d like to think I’ll be involved when it comes to that time again,” he added.
“I’m now feeling pretty well settled in the side and like to think I’ve got a regular spot.
“But I know I’ll need to keep playing well, and I hope my performance yesterday will have helped, too.”