Pack star Grant Millington is expecting a physical encounter when Wakefield Wildcats come to the Mend-A-Hose Jungle tomorrow night looking for revenge for the two defeats they have suffered at Castleford Tigers’ hands in 2016.
Millington enjoys the cut and thrust of a typical local derby and reckons this week’s game will be as passionate as ever even though the Wildcats have little but pride to play for this season.
He told the Express: “People speak of Wakefield not having the best of starts to the Super 8s, but this is a local derby and we are fully aware that this is a match they are going to come and target.
“If they don’t win any more this season they’d be pretty happy if they come here and roll us.
“We beat them at their place not long ago and I’m pretty sure that their players and fans are keen to come here and try to get one over on us.
“We are expecting them to come here and start here really big. It’s going to be quite a physical match I think.
“These are the types of games you love. It’s back to the tribal instincts of rugby league. You really rip into the other side and shake their hand at the end of the game. It’s all left out on the pitch.
“It’s always a good atmosphere down here, but especially for the derbies. Even when played them at Wakey both sets of fans become vocal and it’s that little bit of hatred that makes the game more interesting and makes them shout that little bit louder, which is great.”
Millington reckons the players are over the big disappointment of losing to the very last play in their last game at Warrington.
He said: “We had worked so hard and had knocked off the top two in the table then we came up against Warrington who are thereabouts as well and got beaten on the bell so it was disappointing.
“But we were given four days off so we come into the last four games nice and fresh and ready to be motivated to crack on, keep plugging away and get a few more wins.
“You are playing the top sides every week and if you’re not good you get punished. I think we’ve been good so far at being on top of our standards, which is something we speak a lot about here at Cas.
“The standards have risen for us in defence in the Super 8s. We’ve still got some work to do, but we’ve really been pushing hard and working hard during the week on our defence.”
Millington and his team-mates are determined to keep going for the rest of the season as it can stand them in good stead for 2017 wherever they finish this time round.
He added: “We’re running out of time a bit to catch that top four, but we are working hard to improve as a team for next year.
“We’re spoken of at times about being a team that if other sides stick with us we’ll have a lapse in concentration that will give them opportunities to put some points on us. But we’ve shown in the Super 8s that we are building as a team and trying to shake off that tag of the way people look at us.
“We are building for next year and really building to be a top four side once we get a full compliment of players back in the future.
“We are out there to do everything we can to make that top four, as we have been all year. But we’ve been unfortunate in different ways over the season.
“We are a rugby league team that wants to win and we are working our hardest every week not only to build for next year to become a better side, but also to see if miraculously we can still pull something off for the end of this season.
“Even if we weren’t mathematically possible to make the top four our standards are only going to go one way here and that’s up.
“We’ve got a culture here where everybody has to work hard. We don’t have the sort of players who can pull a game out of nowhere. We’re starting to get that now with some players in our side, but we’ve been known as a team that are going to work hard and we can play some great football on the back of that.”