Millward: Tigers earned reward
Castleford coach Ian Millward was a happy man after the Tigers snatched a dramatic 14-12 win over derby rivals Leeds Rhinos on Sunday.
Jamie Ellis kicked two penalty goals in the last six minutes as the Tigers hit back from 12-10 down to snatch their first victory over Leeds for three years and end an eight-match losing Super League run.
Castleford led 10-6 at half-time after former Leeds player Jordan Tansey and Jake Webster scored first-half tries on their home debuts but Ryan Hall's 49th minute score looked set to give champions Leeds the edge until Ellis's boot decided the outcome.
"I am really happy for the players. They have worked really hard and the new guys that have come in have been really good. I thought it was a real shot in the arm for the effort the players have put in," said Millward.
"I thought we were very impressive in the wet conditions in the first 30 minutes. I thought our halves Rangi Chase and Jamie Ellis were very good in the first half and I thought Jordan Tansey was excellent.
"I felt it could have been a lot closer last week in our defeat at Warrington but I was really impressed that we had a bit of backbone about us that we didn't have last year."
Millward also praised referee Tim Roby for the decision that resulted in Ellis's winning goal. Roby penalised Leeds for not standing square as they defended in front of their own posts.
"It was a penalty. The referee could have bottled it but he didn't so I've got to give him a rap there," added Millward.
"It was tough conditions for the referee today and I'm really glad he stood up to his task at the end. I think he'll get a lot out of the game because at least it shows he's got the b***s to stand up for his rights."
Leeds coach Brian McDermott blamed "unfortunate errors" for his side's first defeat of the season.
"Well done to Castleford. Both teams put in a really big effort," he said.
"I haven't really got too much negative to say about us but I think I will be showing the players tomorrow in terms of what we need to do better. I think the game came down to some unfortunate errors.
"I don't think in general Castleford handled the conditions better than us - it was just unfortunate mistakes towards the back end that cost us."
The Rhinos picked up injuries to Ryan Bailey (knee), Brett Delaney (hamstring) and Zak Hardaker (concussion).
Hardaker was taken off in the 64th minute after being flattened by Castleford's Rangi Chase.
"I am not sure how long they will be out for," added McDermott.
"I don't think Delaney will be less than a week and we are not sure what the tweak is with Bailey's knee, whether it's a little nip of a cartilage or a bit of strain.
"Hopefully Zak will recover from his collision. I'd be wary of commenting on that incident but in general shoulder barges are all right - that has what this competition has ruled - but if it's head contact, it's head contact. I'm not saying it is with Rangi Chase - I'll have to look at it - but he knocked the kid out clean."