For Castleford Tigers to finish in fifth place in the Super League is an awesome achievement, according to head coach Daryl Powell.
The final day 40-26 victory over Widnes ensured the Tigers overhauled Catalans to finish in the same place as last year and Powell reckons the players can be proud of their efforts in such difficult circumstances with all the injuries suffered by key squad members.
He said: “To finish fifth above Catalans has been a target of ours for quite a few weeks now and to be able to achieve that is awesome for us.
“I’m really pleased with the way we’ve finished the season off. It’s been a special effort for us to come fifth under the circumstances which have been incredibly tough from an injury point of view.
“The players who’ve had to play pretty much every week without a break across the season deserve a huge pat on the back with the way they’ve gone after the games and had to push through when they’ve been under pressure.
“It’s been a fantastic Super 8s with five wins and a last minute loss to Warrington when I thought we were the better side over the 80 minutes.
“The boys can take a massive amount of credit for the way they’ve gone about their work when things have been pretty tough for us.
“They’ve done a great job in the Super 8s and it sets up massively for next year.
“The way we’ve gone about it shows there’s a lot more to come from us.”
Powell hailed his side’s efforts in the final game against Widnes.
He added: “We played some smart stuff at times.
“We started the second half poorly and then took a grip on the game and I thought we were outstanding for a period there.
“The back end left a bit of a bitter taste as we conceded three tries when they were taking the odds to it and we got a bit loose.
“But it looked like we could score at will at times and it was a really good win for us and an important one to make sure we finished fifth.”