CASTLEFORD TIGERS have had an outstanding season, but loose-forward Adam Milner admits that does not count for much now.
A 24-6 Grand Final defeat by Leeds Rhinos at Old Trafford shattered the league leaders’ hopes of a first Betfred Super League title and Milner admitted they weren’t good enough on the night.
“We couldn’t look after the ball and if you can’t do that you aren’t going to win any game of rugby league,” Milner said.
“Take nothing away from Leeds, they know how to do it in wet conditions at this time of year.
“I take my hat off to them because they’ve done it again. It is disappointing from everybody involved at Cas.
“There’s not much that can be said, we’ve just got to look at what we have achieved this year as a group.
“We’ve finally won some silverware, which is pretty special. Finishing 10 points clear we’ve shown we’ve been consistently the best team throughout the year, but [on Saturday] we’ve not turned up.
“It will certainly give us motivation for next year and something to build on.
“Our aim will be to come back to Old Trafford and go one step further.”
There’s not much that can be said, we’ve just got to look at what we have achieved this year as a group.Castleford’s Adam Milner
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Captain Michael Shenton was the only Tigers player with previous Grand Final experience, having been a member of the St Helens team beaten by Rhinos in 2011.
He insisted Tigers will “stick together and bounce back from this”, but accepted: “Our performance wasn’t up to scratch and we saved our worst performance of the whole season for the biggest stage.
“We’re massively deflated. There’s a group of lads with their heads down and they feel they have let the fans, the town and the club down.
“You have to give credit to Leeds, the way they built pressure as they took advantage of our ineptitude.
“We couldn’t build any pressure as we couldn’t hold the ball. It was disappointing, but we have had a good year.
“Consistency-wise we’ve achieved a lot and have won the league leaders’ shield for the first time in the club’s history so there’s positives to take, but at the moment it doesn’t feel that way.
“It’s a painful one to take and I don’t think we’ll ever get a better opportunity of winning a Grand Final.”
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