Millward critical as Tigers standards slip

Jake Webster is stopped by three tackl;ers for Castleford Tigers against London
Jake Webster is stopped by three tackl;ers for Castleford Tigers against London

Castleford boss Ian Millward is demanding an improvement from his players after seeing the Tigers lose their way in a disappointing 26-12 defeat to London Broncos.

Millward was critical of his side’s second half display as they let a 12-6 half-time lead slip against opponents who came into the game at the bottom of the Super League table.

He said: “The first half was everything I wanted and expected, but the second half was everything I didn’t expect.

“We had total control of the game at 12-6, we were the dominant team and playing well. But in the second half we had a 15 minute period when we only had three sets with the ball and we conceded three tries.

“It put us on the back foot and mentally we didn’t recover from it.

“We struggled and lost a lot of our shape in attack and due to that we couldn’t come back.

“It was disappointing because we put ourselves in a position to win the game and we gave it up in the next 40 minutes.

“We had played so well in our previous home games and I feel like they took it for granted a little bit that it would come naturally. But you’ve got to work hard for that to come and there was some real lessons to be learned in the second half.

“I thought the conditions probably suited them more for the game because they had a pretty tough pack of forwards and a very good half-back in Craig Gower.

“If Gower played for us we would have won the game. I thought he was the best player by a mile and controlled the game.

“They were able to keep it nice and steady where I would have liked us to have a little bit more movement.

Millward saw some positives from the way the Tigers played in the first half.

“In the first-half our kicking game was strong and we opened them up quite a few times. You could see the way we wanted to play and you could see the way we wanted to defend. In the second-half we didn’t have the same continuity from our attack, our defence or our kicking game and they were the strong indicators on why the London Broncos won the game.

“It was no reflection on what we’ve been doing during the year, it was no reflection on what we can do and it was no reflection on the individuals.

“It was a difficult first game for Dan Fleming, but he’ll definitely get a lot out of the game.

“I thought Richard Owen did well. He was what we wanted him to be, he was consistent and showed that he can step in when he gets the chance. We did miss Justin Carney, but Richie did a good job.”