While he would rather be preparing his team for a Challenge Cup semi-final next month Castleford Tigers Daryl Powell has admitted that being out of the competition can be a benefit to the team’s bid for a first league title.
The Tigers will now have two free weekends, while rivals will be battling it out for cup glory and it could pay off in the long run.
Powell told the Express: “It can be a benefit going out of the cup because it gives us a couple of weekends break from now until the end of the season and that really does freshen players up.
“Even though you don’t want to go out of the Challenge Cup there is a benefit in there. We will be able to use that to our advantage hopefully.
“The other thing is that some of the other teams that are in the top four at the moment will be playing in semi-finals and the final. It can be a distraction, we know all about that, and we’ve just got to take advantage, focus on ourselves and make sure we are winning games consistently.”
Castleford return to the Super League this week and go into the final five games before the split with a six-point advantage at the top.
“We are in an awesome position,” said Powell.
“If somebody had told us that coming up towards the last five games of the first part of the season you would be six points clear, you would grab it with both hands.
“We’ve got a very good opportunity here now and our job as coaches is to make sure the boys stay focused and we go again.
“Rather than getting rattled by the Hull defeat we’ve got to re-energise and refocus and we’ll certainly be doing that this week.”