Oliver Holmes determined to enjoy his final chance with Castleford Tigers

EVERY Cup final is special, but Castleford Tigers forward Oliver Holmes has an extra reason to relish Saturday’s Wembley showdown with St Helens.

Castleford's Oliver Holmes. Picture: SWpix.com
Castleford's Oliver Holmes. Picture: SWpix.com

Holmes made his debut in 2010 and – along with Michael Shenton and Nathan Massey – is one of only three players from their previous Challenge Cup showpiece, seven years ago, still at the club.

He was a try scorer that afternoon in a 23-10 loss to Leeds Rhinos and also featured when Castleford were beaten by the same opponents in the 2017 Super League Grand Final.

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Realistically, Saturday is likely to be Holmes’s last chance to win silverware as a Castleford player before his move to Warrington Wolves next season.

“I have spent a lot of time at Cas, all my adult life,” said Holmes.

“To not have a major trophy during those 12 seasons is something I want to rectify, for myself and the club and the same for Daryl (Powell) and anybody else who will be leaving this year.

“It does make it that bit more special. It probably puts a bit more pressure on, but pressure brings out the best in people.”

Major finals are still not a regular occurrence for Castleford, but Holmes feels lessons have been learned from previous defeats, as a team and individually.

He insisted Castleford are well prepared, despite a lack of match practice and on a personal level recalled: “I can remember last time I didn’t look up and around at the stadium. I kept my head down and tried to stay focused at that moment and keep my mind on the game.

“This time I won’t be doing that, I will be taking everything in, trying to remember, because it goes in a flash. These games just start and finish, I can barely remember much of the 2014 Challenge CFup final or the 2017 final. This time I am going to try and savour it as much as I can.

“To win the Challenge Cup final with this club and this group of lads would finish off my career at Cas on the most unbelievable high that I could ever think of.”