CASTLEFORD TIGERS have been urged for one last effort in what boss Daryl Powell says has been a “special” season.
Tigers will finish fifth if they win at home to Widnes Vikings tomorrow.
The top-four is out of reach, but Castleford have won four of their six games so far in the First Utility Super-8s and Powell reckons climbing one more place would be an incredible achievement for his injury-ravaged team.
Castleford have been unable to field their first-choice line-up since round one of Super League, when captain Michael Shenton suffered a season-ending knee injury.
Despite that they have beaten Hull twice at KC Stadium, won at Catalans, recorded five victories out of five against neighbours Leeds Rhinos and Wakefield Trinity Wildcats and defeated title-chasing Wigan Warriors and Warrington Wolves.
“It’s a great chance for us to finish fifth,” Powell said of tomorrow’s game.
“If we do that I think it will be the most special achievement since I have been at the club, because it has been such a difficult season.”
Tigers finished fourth two years ago – after going into the final round of the regular season with a chance of the league leaders’ shield – and were Challenge Cup runners-up.
“It would be better than that,” Powell claimed.
“On the way back from Catalans last week I picked a team of players who couldn’t play and it was a good team.
“If the two teams played against each other it would be a fair old game. We had 14 who could not play last week.
“To get where we are has been an unbelievable achievement. I am really proud of them.
“Everybody has been rattling on about having nothing to play for in the Super-8s, so to maintain our motivation has been an excellent achievement.”
Luke Dorn will play his final game tomorrow and Powell reckons that is another reason to play well and finish with a win.
He said: “He has been an awesome player for us, no question about that.
“His ability with the ball is second to none. He creates so many opportunites.
“He is going back home, but he has got a lot of friends here and a lot of respect from the whole club.
“There will be be a bit of emotion and it’s important we get the win for him and for us.”
Powell makes just one change to the squad who claimed victory over Catalans last weekend, with Rangi Chase replacing Larne Patrick who underwent ankle surgery on Thursday.
Castleford Tigers from: Chase, Cook, Crooks, Douglas, Dorn (c), Fitzsimmons, Flynn, Gale, Hampshire, Holmes, Maher, McMeeken, McShane, Milner, Minikin, Savelio, Solomona, Springer, Webster.
Widnes Vikings from: Ah Van, Cahill, J Chapelhow, T Chapelhow, Dean, Dudson, Farrell, Gilmore, Hanbury, Heremaia, Ince, Johnstone, Leuluai, Manuokafo, Mellor, Runciman, Thompson, White, Whitley.
Referee: Jack Smith (Warrington).
Kick-off: Tomorrow, 3.30pm.