Castleford Tigers are earning their stripes in challenge for the title says Millington

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CASTLEFORD Tigers’ Grant Millington believes the victory over Salford Red Devils will strengthen his side’s mentality when it comes to challenging for the title.

They secured an 11th straight Super League when beating the visitors 38-14 on Friday night and also ensured they finished the regular season with a 100 per cent win record at Wheldon Road.

Grant Millington. PIC: Matthew Merrick/RLPhotos

Grant Millington. PIC: Matthew Merrick/RLPhotos

Being eight points clear of their nearest rivals, leaders Castleford could secure a top-four semi-final spot after only two Super 8s games.

Salford had been the only remaining team Daryl Powell’s side had not defeated in 2017 and Australian prop Millington admitted that gave them added satisfaction over the weekend.

“We do play well down here and really enjoy it,” he said.

“We knew Salford would come and really challenge us.

Injured Castleford Tigers winger Greg Eden. PIC: Matthew Merrick/RLPhotos

Injured Castleford Tigers winger Greg Eden. PIC: Matthew Merrick/RLPhotos

“They beat us in the forwards the last time we played (a 13-12 defeat in March) and were aware they might try do the same again.

“There was some periods where they got some momentum but we won it back and finished the game well.

“Revenge probably isn’t the word to describe it.

“But we are in a competition where you probably have to be able to beat everyone to win it.

Injured Castleford hooker/half-back Adam Milner. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

Injured Castleford hooker/half-back Adam Milner. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

“It’s a good thing for us to get over the top of them like that.

“They’ll be there or thereabouts come the end of the season and, who knows, we might meet them later on so it’s good to get over that mental thing.

“We had same thing with Hull and beat them. It doesn’t make it easier but it gives us confidence.”

Now in his sixth season at Castleford after joining from Canterbury Bulldogs, the 30-year-old was superb up front leading a pack missing a raft of injured regulars including Junior Moors, Adam Milner, Matt Cook and Oli Holmes.

“I don’t think many people realise how many injuries we do have,” added Millington, Super League’s top try-scorer Greg Eden the latest to be crocked after suffering a serious shoulder injury on Friday.

“A few will filter through now but they have kind of built-up over the last couple of weeks.

“Those who came have been fantastic, though. I thought Alex Foster was really good.

“He played 80 minutes, played on the edge then came in to the middle.

“Kev Larroyer came in and did well and then guys like Nathan Massey and Jesse (Sene-Lefao) have been fantastic.

“Everyone contributed. Gadwin (Springer) and Lynchy were good too.

“Everyone has to be playing good to get in this side because when the boys start filtering back through it will be hard for Powelly to pick his side at the business end of the season.

“It doesn’t look great for Greg but fingers crossed it’s not too bad.

“He’s a big part of what we do, is a great finisher and does lot of good work out of the backfield, too.”

Castleford, who have appealed for witnesses after fighting broken out in the crowd at the end of Friday’s game, round off their regular campaign in Perpignan on Saturday.

“It’s always a tough challenge heading over there but it’ll be a good precursor for us heading into the Eights,” said Millington.