Cas look to rivals for inspiration

  • Last Updated: April 5 2013, 15:01 BST

Castleford coach Ian Millward will draw inspiration from the resurgence of neighbours Wakefield a year ago as he aims to lift his side off the foot of the Super League table.

Ian Millward: Reasons to be positive
Ian Millward: Reasons to be positive

The Tigers go into Saturday's home game against high-flying Huddersfield bottom of the pile after taking just three points from their first 10 matches.

But Millward points out that the Wildcats were in a similar position at the same stage of the 2012 competition but went on to reach the play-offs after winning 11 of their next 17 fixtures.

"I went for a drink with (Wakefield coach) Richard Agar after our Good Friday game and he said after Easter last year they were two from 10," Millward said.

"I've seen enough this year to know that, when we've got our full complement of players and we get things right, we can do well. I really believe that."

The Tigers were one of only two teams to fail to pick up a point over Easter but Millward insists morale remain high.

"It was a bad weekend for us," he said. "Friday knocked our confidence around a bit but I've got to say the spirit off the field is good.

"There are a couple of key areas we need to improve. We know what needs to be done. We need a bit of luck at the moment."

Prop Ryan Boyle goes straight into the team after rejoining his hometown club from Salford, but Millward says he has just 17 fit players after his slender squad was again hit by injury and suspension.

Castleford's misfortune was illustrated when prop Steve Nash was selected for his first appearance of the season only to tear a calf muscle in training.

At least history is on the Tigers' side. They have won their last four home Super League meetings with Huddersfield, including a 52-4 hammering last season.

Giants coach Paul Anderson, whose side have the chance to return to the top of the table with leaders Wigan not playing until Sunday, is disregarding last season's shock result but expects Castleford to start climbing away from the foot of the table before long.

"We haven't lost there this season yet and I couldn't care less about what has happened in the past," he said.

"We are Giants 2013 and we will turn up as if it is just another piece of grass with some stands, floodlights and some TV cameras as well.

"Cas have some good players on their books and at some point it is going to click for them.

"What they did over Easter was put all their eggs into the Friday game and rested a few people and now will put all their eggs into this game as well so it is dangerous. Going to Cas is always dangerous.

"I'm a Cas lad myself and they are the team I look out for in terms of results but we have to make sure that we go and do what we do well rather than worry about them."

London Broncos, the other team who lost both Easter fixtures, are 'on the road' again when they host Bradford at High Wycombe's Adams Park.

Bradford coach Francis Cummins is reading nothing into the Londoners' heavy defeat at Warrington, where they rested key players, and sees Saturday's game as a test of his own side's play-off credentials.

"I'm really happy with how hard we're working but there is a long way to go," he said. "We've got to improve in lot of areas if we are going to stay in the top eight and that's the challenge now.

"London look like they're coming into some form, which I knew they would. They are a dangerous team."

Veteran Australian scrum-half Craig Gower is among the returning Broncos and Cummins says he will be targeted in defence.

"Craig Gower is a massive player for them," Cummins said. "We have a very young side and you just can't buy that experience but there is a trade off.

"If you are still playing this game at his age then either you have a great knowledge of the game or are very fit or your knowledge gets you through.

"We have to be wary of him but we have to target him as well and make him play."


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