PLAYING IN a Grand Final is what Junior Moors came to England to do – and he says Castleford Tigers are right on his schedule.
The powerful 31-year-old New Zealand-born forward (pictured, right, in action against St Helens in the semi-final) joined the Tigers from Melbourne Storm ahead of the 2015 season and his Castleford career has all been geared towards Saturday’s Betfred Super League decider – against Leeds Rhinos – at Old Trafford.
He said: “I came over here with a plan to, within a couple of years, be up there with the best teams.
“We have done a great thing this year. It is so good to be in the Grand Final and hopefully we can go one step further.”
Moors has been at the club long enough to know what Saturday means to the area. It is Tigers’ first Grand Final and they have never been champions of the elite competition.
“It’s not just us as players and the coaching staff,” Moors said.
“The town is really involved in the team. It is massive not just for us, but for everyone in the town.”
Tigers have been the best team all year, but were seconds from defeat in last Thursday’s semi-final before their late heroics edged them through. Moors reckons they will have to play better at Old Trafford.
He said: “We let a lead slip at the end, which is unlike us this year, but for us to fight back like we did and get the win was awesome.
“Hopefully we learn from those mistakes and we don’t get put into that position again.
“Getting through a game like that just before the Grand Final is awesome. The experience we get from winning a game like that will stand us in good stead.”
Tigers maintained their standards after securing the league leaders’ shield with four Super-8s fixtures in hand.
They could have taken their foot off the game, but Moors feels maintaining their winning attitude has been crucial.
“It was a funny one,” he said. “There were a few games people said didn’t mean anything, but for us it was all about gaining some momentum going into the semi-final.
“We started off well, then hit a bit of a rocky patch, but that’s what’s going to happen in semi-finals. It was good to come back and get that win.”
Monday’s team visit was the first time Moors has been to Old Trafford.
He added: “Not many people are privileged to get there in their career so it is definitely something I will treasure this week and I’ll be ready to go on Saturday.
“The guys we have at the club here, everyone is really close and we have a special bond. It makes it that much more special doing it all together.”