Huddersfield Giants v Castleford Tigers: Makeshift hooker Adam Milner insists Cas are on track

Castleford Tigers' Matt Cook.
Castleford Tigers' Matt Cook.
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MAKESHIFT RAKE Adam Milner is confident Castleford Tigers are back on track.

The 38-28 comeback win over Wigan Warriors five days ago – after Tigers trailed 20-0 – ended a mini losing run and will send Castleford into tomorrow’s game at Huddersfield Giants in upbeat mood.

Adam Milner.

Adam Milner.

Three defeats leading into the Easter period would have left Tigers wobbling, but Milner reckons they now have some impetus behind them and he admitted: “We needed that win.”

He said: “We’ve been talking about momentum and how it changes in a game.

“Wigan had it after 50 minutes but, as soon as we got momentum, everything seemed to go our way and that’s what happens with results as well.

“Winning is a habit and you certainly don’t want to be racking up the losses. We have put that two-game losing streak to bed now and we can look forward to [tomorrow] and be more positive.”

We have put that two-game losing streak to bed now and we can look forward to Huddersfield and be more positive.

Adam Milner

Tigers had trailed 20-4 at Leeds Rhinos in their previous match before going on to lose in golden-point extra-time and Milner stressed: “We keep giving teams 20-point starts which isn’t good enough.

“That’s an area we need to improve on, but to come back like we did in the second half was an outstanding effort from the boys. Even in the first half we were probably the better team, but the right-edge struggled at times.

“We had a few tough words at half-time, but just said keep doing what you’re doing. We did that and we managed to get them, especially around the middle. Our middle unit was absolutely exceptional in that second half and they really got us on the front foot.”

Giants had a poor start to the season, but have been improving despite a one-point defeat at Wakefield Trinity last Friday. Milner warned: “They have come off a close defeat and they will be looking to put that right so they will be fired up for us.”

Mitch Clark.

Mitch Clark.

With Paul McShane serving the second game of his three-match ban, Milner – normally a loose-forward – will continue at hooker. He created two tries and scored another last week and said: “I don’t mind putting my hand up at nine, but I was massively helped out by the middles, especially the ones who came off the bench.

“It was Mitch Clark’s first game back and he took some stopping and Matt Cook had his best game all year. They made my life a lot easier and got us on the front foot.”

Recent signing Dan Smith could make his Tigers debut against his previous club, Mike McMeeken is available for the first time since being injured in Super League round one and Junior Moors is also in contention after a neck problem.

There could be a recall for Greg Minikin, but Nathan Massey (collarbone) has joined the casualty list and Will Maher also drops out from last week’s team. Former Castleford player Joe Wardle could return for Giants, along with Jake Wardle, Aaron Murphy and Lee Gaskell. Michael Lawrence and Oliver Roberts drop out.

Huddersfield Giants: from McIntosh, McGillvary, Turner, Uate, Gaskell, Frawley, Leeming, Matagi, Murphy, Mellor, O’Brien, Ta’ai, English, Jake Wardle, Russell, Ikahihifo, Hewitt, I Senior, Joe Wardle

Castleford Tigers: from Clare, Clark, Cook, Eden, Egodo, Holmes, Mata’utia, McMeeken, Millington, Milner, Minikin, Moors, O’Neill, Sene-Lefao, Shenton, Smith, Trueman, Turner, Watts.

Referee: Ben Thaler (Wakefield).

Kick-off: Tomorrow, 7.45pm.