CASTLEFORD Tigers head coach Daryl Powell says his side are in a “great position” to reach Old Trafford for a second year running.
Victory over in-form Huddersfield Giants on Friday night would aid them in their quest to finish inside the top two and set up a home semi-final further down the track.
Firstly, though, they want to secure a top-four spot before the Super 8s split.
“It’s crucial to have that extra home game in the Super 8s,” said Powell. “We’re pretty happy with the way we’re going at the moment.
“We’ve started to play better at home and I think it’s an important place to finish in the top four, to have that extra home game.
“It gives you a real good chance if you get your home form right to have a great foundation moving forward.
There’s still a great deal of water to go under the bridge, but there’s a hunger and a desire within the group that we want to take that next step and we have put ourselves in a good position to have a shot at that.Daryl Powell
“We’ve had to play without a lot of top line players.
“But we are in a great position to be able to have a shot at getting into the Grand Final again.
“There’s still a great deal of water to go under the bridge, but there’s a hunger and a desire within the group that we want to take that next step and we have put ourselves in a good position to have a shot at that.”
After losing to Leeds Rhinos at Old Trafford last October, Castleford feel they have grown enough to finally lift the first league title in the club’s history.
However, improving Huddersfield arrive first and they are one of the competition’s form teams with seven wins from their last eight games.
Another success tonight would guarantee them a top-eight slot and Powell said: “Giants have been looking good.
“They are organised and look like they are together as a team. (New coach) Simon Woolford has done some good things.
“Squad-wise they are strong and pretty much have been able to put the same players out on the field on a consistent basis.
“The pack is really hard working. They are getting after teams at the moment and coming out on top so there’s a challenge to ours.
“But we’ve got an outstanding pack ourselves and, though it’ll be tough, we’re looking forward to this challenge.”