Tigers look for home comfort

editorial image

HEAD coach Ian Millward (pictured) believes a return to home soil can bring the best of out his Castleford Tigers team this Sunday.

The Tigers have lost five out of their last six Stobart Super League games, but only played one of those matches at the Probiz Coliseum - when they beat an in-form Salford City Reds team.

Huddersfield Giants now represent a tough challenge for third from bottom Cas, but Millward expects his players to give a much better display than in their hugely disappointing 40-10 defeat at Widnes on Monday night.

He told the Express: “It’s a tough game next against Huddersfield. I like the way they play, but they’ve only won one of their last six and we’re at home.

“I expect us to go well at home and it will be nice to be back at the ground.

“We’ve got five home games to go so we’re still very positive we can get some wins. We’ve definitely got plenty still to play for.

“I hope the fans hang in there. I have faith that we will get out of the position we’re in.”

Castleford will be boosted by the return of Richard Owen to the side after he completed his one-match ban, but Millward is still in the dark about when England half-back Rangi Chase will return from his club suspension.

He said: “We have Richard Owen back and that will be brilliant for us. We’ll see what position he plays. Nick Youngquest has been doing well for us at full-back.

“I don’t know if Rangi Chase will be included. All I can say is that Rangi has been suspended on full pay while the club do an internal inquiry. I can’t comment further.

“Apart from the long term men out I expect everyone else to be fit and available. We’ve got some bumps and bruises, but hopefully no more injuries out of the Widnes game. I’ve not asked the players yet what they made of the pitch, but we had a lot of skin off, which was obviously of concern to us.

“But we’ve got Huddersfield on Sunday then a week off so we are trying to get everyone to play because they have the following week off.

“Danny Orr had an ankle injury and was not fully fit for the Widnes game, but he came through not too bad so hopefully he’ll be right for this week.”

Millward blamed poor ball retention for the defeat at Widnes.

He added: “The problem for us in the game was we had the lowest completion rate we’ve had all year.

“In the second half we only completed five out of 18 sets, which is nearly 30 per cent, and it just puts too much work on you physically and gives away field position. If you don’t have the ball you are not going to score points and unfortunately that is what happened.

“We obviously missed players, but you can only deal with what you’ve got and what we’ve got to do is to hold the ball longer and build more pressure.

“It was hard having to come up with a new half-back partnership, especially with a six who doesn’t normally play there. You are trying to get him to do a passing game, which is not easy.

“James Clare tried hard. Through his inexperience there was a lot of errors around him so we will have to improve that.

“We’ll have to see how we go for numbers about getting more youngsters in, but you don’t want to see too many in at once because it doesn’t help their confidence.”

Craig Huby was put on report for alleged dangerous contact on Widnes Vikings’ Hep Cahill in the third minute of the 40-10 defeat for the Tigers, but will be available for selection for Sunday’s game against Huddersfield after receiving a caution.

The Tigers will stage a series of events for children during the summer holidays, including multi activity days, advanced rugby academy workshops, multi sports camps and dance academy workshops. For more information, visit www.castigers.com

Castleford Tigers Supporters Club’s meet the directors evening, involving a question and answer session with Richard Wright, Andy Reed and Brian Ashworth, takes place at the Wish Communications Suite, at the Probiz Coliseum, next Wednesday (7.45pm start). The event is for members only with admission £1.