Castleford Tigers’ Dream team selected forward Grant Millington is eager to see where he and his team are at ahead of the new season when they play the second of their warm-up matches tomorrow at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.
The game against Leeds Rhinos is only a “friendly”, but the Tigers are keen to show what they can do against the team they lost to in last year’s Grand Final.
Many of the Tigers and Rhinos players will be in action for the first time since last October’s Betfred Super League Grand Final and although a win this time for Cas would not make up for their huge disappointment on that day it would be a boost ahead of the start of the season proper.
At the same time last year the Tigers won away at St Helens and that gave them a good indication that they were ready for the real stuff.
“It’s a friendly, but it’s our only major test going into the start of the season,” said Millington.
“The way last year ended will add a little bit of emotion, but we’ll still be working things out on how we want to play and getting our systems right.
“I think you’ll see the full emotion of it when we face them for the first time in Super League, but Sunday will be a really good hit-out for us.
“Any local derby’s a good clash and this is going to be a good way to steel us for the season.
“It doesn’t mean anything points-wise, but it means a lot to pretty much put down a marker and see how we are going and how our pre-season has developed and how we are going to start the season off, hopefully on the right foot.
“There’s no better side to do it against than Leeds. They are the champions - unfortunately it wasn’t us - and it is good for us to play them as much as we can because they are obviously at the top of the league and it’s going to be a good test.”
On his own aims for 2018, Millington said: “For me it is just about being consistent. That’s something I’ve always tried to do and I think I did a pretty good job of being consistent last year.
“Obviously if you are consistent and everybody around you is consistent you are going to have a good season, which is why I think we were so successful last year - everyone did their job and knew their role and was able to perform at a good standard.
“Personally I’ll be working hard and there’s lots of little things I can still improve in my game. It’ll be good to get out there against Leeds and put it into practice.”