Supporters Club player of the year Grant Millington reckons Castleford Tigers’ performance and victory against Wigan Warriors has gone a long way to answering critics that they cannot play when the pressure is on.
The 38-20 success away to the reigning champions delivered a potentially fatal blow to Wigan’s chances of defending their crown and showed how well the Tigers are keeping going to build momentum for the knockout semi-final to come.
That they did it without first choice half-backs Luke Gale and Ben Roberts made the victory all the more impressive.
“People might say we’ve got nothing to play for, but we are building towards our semi-final,” said Millington.
“To go to Wigan, which is always a tough place to go, without our predominant halves and pull that off, it was a great win for us.
“We were scrappy for 15 minutes in the second half and they really came back. We got into a spot where they could have got us, but we pulled it back and came away with a win.
“It was a fantastic effort from the boys and we have got another big effort to come this week.”
Millington admitted the team had to cut out the patches in recent games where they appear to be easing off after opening up big leads.
He said: “I wouldn’t say it’s a massive concern, but it’s something we definitely have to work on.
“When you are in front like that sometimes the momentum can flip and it is really, really hard to get back.
“We were on the back foot and when a side like Wigan start playing hot and off-loading across the field they make it really tough for you.
“When they’ve got nothing to lose because they are behind, they can do that and all the pressure’s off them.
“It all heaps on to us. We have to be mindful of that and we’ll look at it during the week. We’ve got a short week so it will probably be a lighter training week on the paddock.
“But mentally we have to prepare for Hull because they have got some massive boys who can do some big damage to us. We’ve got to be good.”
Millington insisted there would be no easing off this week against Hull although the semi-final was less than a week off.
He added: “We are preparing for the semi-final and everyone wants to be on the pitch. One week can make you lose a little bit of your fitness.
“We don’t go into any game lightly, we want to win every game we play.
“It will be the same sort of thing as Sunday, Wigan needed to win and we knew they would be scrapping for everything and Hull will be similar.
“They have lost a few here and there around the Challenge Cup final, which was a massive achievement for them, but I am sure they’ll be refocusing to make a push for the top four and to do the double and get both trophies.
“It’s going to be a dangerous game for us. It is a must-win for them and a big game for us.”