Castleford Tigers are four games away from a guaranteed home semi-final in the play-offs: but coach Daryl Powell has promised that while he will offer some opportunities to fringe players in the coming weeks, his side will not let the intensity of their season so far dip.
The Tigers are already confirmed to finish top of Super League for the first time in their history, and they know they will meet the side who finish fourth in the table come the end of the Super 8s with a place at Old Trafford at stake.
And Powell, whose side head to Huddersfield on Friday night, said that he wants to see everyone on top of their game over the next month.
He said: “We don’t want to sit back and allow our form to dip. There’ll be a few players who haven’t played as much recently who’ll get an opportunity to put their names forward to be in the team when it really matters at the end of the season, but we want to keep going and keep playing well.
“We have got five, hopefully six, games left. We are right at the end now and I don’t see any point in dropping off.”
The Tigers return to league action following a two-week break in which they celebrated a first-ever League Leaders’ Shield – but Powell insists they have got that out of their system and they are refreshed and ready for the run-in to Old Trafford.
“Old Trafford is a pretty special place to play and we want to be a part of that,” he added.
“To be able to do that we have got to finish our season off well. There’s some teams who are coming into a bit of form and are going to challenge us. We are mindful of that, but ultimately we know it is about us and making sure we are where we want to be.
“It (the break) has freshened us up, I think. We had a couple of days in Newcastle last week, training in camp, which I thought was pretty good for us.
“We have trained well this week and looked pretty sharp. You want to be involved in the Challenge Cup final, but if you are not it probably does benefit you in some ways after such a long season.”