Castleford coach demands 80-minute effort

Kirk Dixon goes over for a try for for Castleford Tigers against London. Picture: IAN HARBER
Kirk Dixon goes over for a try for for Castleford Tigers against London. Picture: IAN HARBER

Castleford Tigers boss Ian Millward has stressed the need for his players to perform for a full 80 minutes after seeing the team lose their way in the second half against London.

After leading 12-6 at the break the Tigers rarely threatened to score in the second half and went completely off their game plan to miss a great chance to climb the Super League table.

But Millward saw enough in the first half display to be confident that his team can get back on track when they travel to play Hull KR in a 6.15pm kick-off on Sunday.

He told the Express: “It’s a tough place to go and they’re all hard games, but I’m confident we can get back to doing what we were doing well and I can’t fault the effort of the players in training.

“We’ve said that we wanted to be competitive for 80 minutes and give our best effort for the whole game. Unfortunately we only provided that for 40 last week.

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

“We had played so well in our previous home games and I feel like they took it for granted a 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.

“We’ve had some really good moments so far this year, but we’ve got to put it all together.”

Millward expects a big test from a Hull KR side smarting from a 34-12 defeat at Bradford last Sunday.

He said: “Hull KR can be two different commodities. Away from home they can struggle and at home they can be so good.

“Michael Dobson’s an obvious threat. He’s a very good half-back, but they’re similar to us in that in the off season they have recruited some very good players. I expect they will cause us some problems.

“It’s really important that we just get on with our game.”

Cas will have back rower Weller Hauraki back after his one match ban and hope to be able to include prop Keith Mason, who is on the recovery trail after a leg injury.

Richard Owen is set to keep his place on the wing with Millward declaring himself happy with his display in the absence of Australian Justin Carney, who sits out the second game of his ban on Sunday.

Millward added: “Weller Hauraki is back so someone will drop out that was in the squad last week.

“There’ll definitely be one change and maybe two as Keith Mason may be back as well.

“He’s been out with a leg injury, but if he can return it will give us more power and experience up front. We will assess him later in the week to see if he can play.

“We missed Weller last week and also Carney and Mason. They’re really experienced and they’ve brought a lot to the team.

“I was happy with Richard Owen’s performance and with Carney still out suspended he’ll keep his place.

“There’s no other major injuries. Adam Milner missed out and was 18th man last week and he’ll be in the squad again this week.”