SEMI-FINAL BOUND Castleford Tigers are prepared to change their style of play for knockout matches, loose-forward Adam Milner says.
Tigers played a blistering brand of attacking rugby last year, but came unstuck in the driving rain at Old Trafford when an error-ridden performance resulted in them falling to Leeds Rhinos at the last hurdle.
Tigers are one win away from a second successive Grand Final after last Friday’s 28-8 win at Hull confirmed their top-four place.
Milner admitted Tigers were below-par with ball in hand, but feels their defence is clicking into gear at the right time and they are adapting to changing elements after the hot, dry summer.
“I think we are used to seeing the classy Cas that likes to throw the ball about, but at this time of year we need to get used to the conditions,” he said.
“It was very slippery so maybe we’ll have to change our style of football a little bit.
I think we are used to seeing the classy Cas that likes to throw the ball about, but at this time of year we need to get used to the conditions. It was very slippery so maybe we’ll have to change our style of football a little bit.Adam Milner
“We’ll learn and take a lot from it [last Friday] and look forward to playing in the tough games coming up.”
Tigers are also adapting to the return of half-back Luke Gale who missed four months of the season with a fractured kneecap.
The win at Hull was his second comeback game after he returned against Catalans Dragons six days earlier.
Milner said: “He is a bit rusty.
“He enjoyed last week, but I don’t think he really enjoyed [Friday].
“We have got to ease him in and he has got to find his feet, but on the other side of the field we’ve got Jake Trueman who has been absolutely fantastic.
“For a 19-year-old kid he has been absolutely awesome.
“We have got two quality halves who can control the team and point us in the right direction.”
Tigers led 28-0 at KCOM Stadium before Hull dug in to score two consolation tries.
They now have three games, beginning at home to Huddersfield Giants on Thursday, to fine-tune things for the semi-final, probably away to in-form Wigan Warriors. Milner said: “We were a bit scratchy [on Friday].
“Fair play to Hull, they responded after the hammering they had the week before.
“We knew they would, but it was good to get the win and another two points.
“It has secured us in the four and we’ll look to keep building for that semi-final now. We always find it hard going to beat Hull, they are a bit of a bogey team for us, especially away.
“We expected them to come up with a response, which they did, but we’re just happy we got the win.”