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RugbyL: Tigers buoyant ahead of Wigan Cup clash

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

With Castleford in the Super League top three and into the last eight of the Challenge Cup, Grant Millington can sense an unspoken belief that the Tigers are on their way to silverware.

Last season was a miserable one for the Tigers, finishing third from bottom in the league and exiting the cup at the first time of asking.

Just over halfway through this season, Daryl Powell's side have already collected more Super League points than last year and a Challenge Cup quarter-final with reigning champions Wigan Warriors awaits on Saturday.

Former Cronulla Sharks forward Millington knows visiting the DW Stadium is a tough task, but says Castleford must beat the big teams to prove their title credentials.

"It hasn't really been spoken about but the confidence has risen that much, it is unbelievable. I think we all know we have a chance of doing something," said Millington.

"The feeling in the place is unbelievable -- it is hard to explain. If I could tell you exactly what has changed, I would be a millionaire. There is just a real togetherness with the boys at the moment.

"We have been lucky enough to beat them (Wigan) the last two times and I think they are going to be out for a bit of revenge."

Fellow Aussie Luke Dorn, who played for Castleford in 2008 before returning this year, has grabbed five tries in his last two games as the Tigers have collected three wins on the bounce.

And Millington knows the versatile 31-year-old has played his part this year, but a new team ethic is also a major reason for the turnaround.

"Dorny is unbelievable," he added. "He has got a really good rugby league brain. Coming into a big game at the weekend, having a player like that in your side is so important.

"It is nice to be picking up a head of steam heading into the second half of the season. I think we surprised a few teams the first time around."

Warrington Wolves visit Bradford Bulls on Sunday to wrap up the quarter-final action and veteran Australian hooker Michael Monaghan is targeting a trophy more than most.

Monaghan announced last weekend that he will retire at the end of the season and leaving Odsal with a win on Sunday would see him take another step towards bowing out with a winner's medal.

"A massive thank you to everyone who has made my time at the club so enjoyable and I look forward to hopefully ending my time here on a high," he said.

"It's been a privilege playing here for seven years, winning Challenge Cups and playing in Grand Finals. It's all gone better than I could have hoped for or expected.

"I've enjoyed my time here and the atmosphere created by the fans over the years has been great."

Elsewhere Leeds Rhinos host Leigh on Friday and Chris Clarkson insists they won't be underestimating the lower-league opposition.

"Leigh are in great form and we are aware that it will not be easy by any means," said the Rhinos forward. "They have been one of the top Championship teams for a while now and they will be ready for the game I'm sure."

Fixtures:

Thursday

Widnes Vikings v Keighley

Friday

Leeds Rhinos v Leigh

Saturday June

Wigan Warriors v Castleford Tigers

Sunday June 8

Bradford Bulls v Warrington Wolves

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