MISSING A dream date at Elland Road has left Oliver Holmes “down in the dumps”, his Castleford Tigers team-mate Grant Millington has revealed.
The forward will serve a one-game suspension when Tigers face Leeds Rhinos at the football ground on Friday night.
Holmes – a Leeds United fan – was initially set to sit out last Sunday’s home clash with Wigan Warriors, but that was postponed because of snow and ice and the ban carried over to this week.
“He is pretty disappointed,” Millington said of Holmes, who was facing a three-to-five-match suspension, but had the punishment reduced at a disciplinary hearing last week.
“When the tackle first happened he said ‘I’m filthy I’m going to miss that game’. He was so excited he was lucky enough to get one match – he has ridden a real rollercoaster and he is down in the dumps now.”
Holmes isn’t the only United supporter in Tigers’ ranks. Speaking during a pre-game visit to the stadium, Millington added: “I am not a massive football fan myself, but quite a few of the boys are really into it and there’s quite a few Leeds United fans as well.
“They are pretty excited to get a chance to play here.”
Friday will be the first competitive meeting between the teams since Rhinos beat Tigers in last year’s Betfred Super League Grand Final.
“It still hurts, but you’ve got to move on,” Millington said of that defeat. “It is a new season and we’ve got a big job ahead of us. People made a big deal about how many times we beat Leeds, but they beat us in the big one.
“It was a disappointing end to the season and it’ll be good to get out and get a great contest against them again.
“They had a fantastic win last week, they really stuck it to Saints and did a fantastic job.
“Playing at Elland Road makes it more of a big occasion and we’ll have to rip in.”
Tigers have had three weekends without a game already this year, due to the World Club Challenge break and two postponements, and Millington admitted: “It has been a very frustrating start to the season.
“We’ve got some new people in key positions and the best way to bring everyone together is to play matches.
“It’ll be good to string a few games together now.”