Castleford Tigers: Roberts insists Tigers will maintain their top-four focus

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FIFTH-PLACE IN First Utility Super League is a good achievement for Castleford Tigers, import Ben Roberts reckons.

Tigers could still finish in the top-four after the regular rounds – if they beat visitors Warrington Wolves on Sunday and Wakefield Trinity Wildcats pull off a shock victory at Huddersfield Giants.

Ben Roberts

Ben Roberts

But coach Daryl Powell has already accepted his team are likely to remain in fifth and Roberts said they can be proud of that, particularly after losing their first three games and having to rebuild the side following the departure of key players at the end of last season.

However, the former Melbourne Storm man insisted Cas won’t be taking this weekend’s game lightly.

And they are determined to go on and push for a top-four spot in the Super-8s, which begin next month.

“I think we’ve done well to be where we’re at at the moment,” Roberts said.

“But we’re not getting complacent and we’re not satisfied with where we’re at.

“There’s still a game [in the regular rounds] to go and we are focused on this week.

“We want to play well against Warrington and if we can put in a good performance then I think it will give us a lot of confidence going into the Super-8s.”

Tigers have lost just one of their last seven matches and Roberts feels they are in good form.

He added: “We had a bit of a setback at Hull, but we’ve moved on from that now.

“We are back in the winners’ circle, which is where we wanted to be and we can build on what we did last weekend [a 58-20 victory at Wakefield], which is good.

“It was good to go out last week and play the way we did.

“We have still got a few things to work on in our game, but we’ve been looking at those and hopefully we’ll fix them up for Sunday.”

Roberts is confident Tigers can make an impact in the Super-8s, despite missing out on the top-four.

The top-eight after this weekend will go into the new seven-game competition which will lead to knockout semi-finals for a place in the title decider at Old Trafford on Saturday, October 10.

“At the start of the year we set a top-four goal,” Roberts confirmed.

“We are sort of there, but we’re not because of points difference.

“We still know what we are working towards and that is winning the big trophies.

“We have got no doubt we can do it if we are on our game. It’s just a matter of us turning up.”

Roberts has taken a utility role for Tigers this year, playing in the halves, at hooker, full-back and off the bench.

“It hasn’t gone too bad,” he said of his debut Super League campaign.

“I’d like to play 80 minutes, but at the moment – the way Daryl [Powell, Tigers’ coach] has got me playing – all I can do is go out and do the job that’s asked of me.

“I am pretty happy with the way I am going and what he wants from me, but I think as a whole team it has been great.

“We have got a lot of depth right across the field.

“If someone happens to get injured – touch wood no one does – we know we’ve got someone there who can just as easily step in and do the job just as good.”