After missing out on playing at Wembley in the Challenge Cup final Australian forward Grant Millington admits he will be extra motivated to keep Castleford Tigers’ play-off hopes alive tonight.
Millington has been one of the Tigers’ most consistent players this year, but was gutted at being ruled out of the cup final with a knee injury.
Now back to full fitness ahead of schedule, the back or front row forward is determined to do everything within his power to help Cas to reach a second final with the Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford still a possibility.
He said: “The first thing I said as soon as I knew I was going to be out of Wembley was to put my sights on this competition.
“It was very tough to miss the Challenge Cup final. It’s not very often you get to play in games like that. I was a bit of a grump around the house and was pretty hard to live with, but once that competition was over I had my new goal and that was to get to the Grand Final in the Super League and we’ve still got a chance to do that.
“I’m good to go and hopefully got enough in me for another three games to get me to the end of the season.
“I was a bit worried about the knee coming back for the Catalan game because I was back in seven weeks when I was told 10, but once I got out on the field I didn’t feel it and it’s fine. I was a worried about the lungs out there in the heat, but I think I was lucky, I ended getting put in the back row on the edge so it wasn’t as frantic and i ended up playing 60-odd minutes, which has obviously helped me build my fitness back up.”
Millington admitted the team was disappointed they did not get the job done at St Helens last week, forcing them into a do or die game now against the Wolves, but believes the Tigers’ form in knockout matches in 2014 can give them confidence.
He said: “We know this is last chance now, we’ve got to come together and deliver a performance.
“We’ve had experience of that and have done well in the Challenge Cup, which is all knockout rounds. Hopefully we can feed off that experience and use that to push that little bit further on Thursday.
“Obviously after a big game like last week where we had a chance to put ourselves 80 minutes away from a Grand Final everyone was a bit down at the weekend.
“As you’d expect everyone was a bit down when we came in on Saturday for recovery, but rugby league is one of those games, you’ve got to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back into it.
“We had a good chat between the players and we all agreed we don’t want to go out of this competition in the manner we played last Friday.
“We want to come out here and put in a good performance that will make us, the fans and the town proud.
Millington reckons that the players have extra motivation for doing well against Warrington with several of their team-mates playing their last home game.
He added: “There’s a few guys at this club leaving who’ve been here forever. For Craig Huby and Daryl Clark it’s been their only club. They are really important to this side and this club’s been all they know so we want to do our best to send them out on a high.
“It’s not just them, there’s other guys who have been a big part of the side this year that are leaving. It’s a good opportunity for us to make sure they leave with positive memories and I’m pretty confident that if we all come together and do what we have all year and play like a team we’ll be able to succeed in that for them.”