AUSTRALIAN STAND-OFF Jacob Miller is excited about his potential partnership with Liam Finn next year, but says Wakefield Trinity Wildcats can’t get carried away after one pre-season game.
Miller and Finn were outstanding for Wildcats in their 14-6 victory at treble winners Leeds Rhinos on Boxing Day and the ex-Hull man reckons it is a half-back combination that can flourish in 2016.
Coach Brian Smith described Miller’s performance against Leeds as “the smartest game of footy I have ever seen Jacob play” and predicted Finn’s arrival will bring the best out of the ex-Hull man.
Finn has joined Wildcats from Castleford Tigers and Miller said: “He is an experienced player and he has come in since day one and really steered the boys around.
“Hopefully we can get a good partnership. We’ll be looking to build [on Boxing Day] and hopefully we can complement each other.”
Miller scored 15 tries in 30 appearances last season and signed a new two-year contract in September.
He admitted 2015 was “a good year for me personally”, but insisted: “There’s plenty to work on. I have been working hard, so hopefully I can improve again on last year. I am feeling really settled here. England’s home now and I love it here at Wakefield.
“All the boys are a really tight group and it is good to be playing regularly. When you get a few games you feel at home and you develop partnerships with people and you find your feet a bit.”
The win at Leeds was an ideal start to Wildcats’ pre-season campaign, but Miller stressed last term’s Super League ‘wooden spoonists’ must keep their feet on the ground.
“There are a few positives to take out of it, but it was just a Boxing Day friendly,” stated the pacy pivot, whose smart kick created a try for front-rower Scott Anderson.
“At the end of the day it means nothing.
“There were some good things from it, but we are not getting too far ahead of ourselves.
“We will look at the positives and the stuff we think we can improve on for the first week in February.”
Wildcats finished 11 points adrift at the bottom of Super League last term.
But Miller feels their winter recruitment and a full pre-season under Smith will give them a better chance of competing in 2016.
“Things are feeling good,” Miller admitted.
“Everyone has been working really hard and digging in.
“We know last year wasn’t good enough, but we’ve made some good signings and been training hard.
“Brian has been really good for us so we are really positive, but we have got to keep working hard for the start of the year.”
Wildcats conceded just one try and kept Rhinos – treble winners in 2015 – scoreless until 15 minutes from time.
They were crushed 50-28 in the 2014 Boxing Day game and Miller said the way they protected their line was the most encouraging aspect.
“We have been doing a lot of work on our defence, it is probably the one thing we’ve done the most,” he said.
“That is definitely a pleasing sign and it was good to get a hit-out.”