posted on 16 July 2016

Joe Arundel insists the Wildcats will not be taking their foot off the gas, despite securing a top-eight place with two games to spare.

After finishing bottom of the pile last season, Trinity were forced to beat Bradford in the inaugural £1million pound game at the end of the season to avoid relegation, but there will be no repeat for the Wildcats this year as they were guaranteed a top-eight spot after Hull KR lost Thursday's Hull derby.

Arundel says he is delighted the pressure is off, whilst also acknowledging how much of an achievement a top-eight finish is in contrast to last season.

"Yeah, we're pretty relieved that Hull FC got the two points on Thursday night ," admits Arundel.

"Obviously it was in our hands going into this weekends game with Catalan. We highlighted it as a game to get back on a consistent run of form because I thought we were unlucky last week against Wigan and there's been a few games recently that we've had a shout of winning but just not done enough. But it's nice to know that we've now got our top-eight place secured and now we can look forward to the semi-final and push on for the rest of the season.

"If you look at where we were last season to where we are now, it's a remarkable turnaround. To have it wrapped up with games to spare and for us to not have to play in those Middle 8's is massive. It makes a massive difference with the spirit in the camp and the spirit of everybody's families because it's not just the players that get affected, but everybody involved with the players. Last year was a very nervous time for us, especially with it being the first year of the new structure, but for the teams in the Middle 8's this year it's going to be even harder. I feel for everybody in that Middle 8's, but I'm just glad it's not us."

The Wildcats have taken a different approach to this afternoons fixture than in previous years, as Chris Chester and his squad have travelled out early this morning, rather than a few days beforehand.

"Hopefully we can get over there, get the two points and then get a nice quick exit home." Arundel explains.

"It's something that not many of the players have done before. Normally we go over there about 48 hours before, but this is a new experience and we'll see how it goes. Hopefully we will pick up the two points and then we can have a nice relaxing week building up to the Castleford game.

"It's going to be a real tough game for us. Catalan are a very talented side and are always hard to play against, especially over in Perpignan. We're going to have to be at our very best if we're to get the two points. I know they've not been in the best form recently, they've lost a couple on the bounce, but it's about us putting together a performance for all the travelling fans."

With injuries to Ben Jones-Bishop and Tom Johnstone, Arundel is set to start in the centre this afternoon and the 24-year old, who is in line to make his 100th Super League appearance, is keen to take the opportunity with both hands.

"I've been on the bench a couple of times recently and been coming on in the back-row, but obviously I want to be getting as many minutes as I can and play every game.

"I'd quite happily play anywhere for the team and give it my best shot. I'm really looking forward to getting back out there this weekend, enjoying myself and playing relaxed. The next few weeks is going to be a really exciting time for the club with the semi-final coming up.

"Semi-finals are always massive games. I've been lucky enough to play in a few and I've been on the end of both outcomes. I know which side I'd rather be on! But these games leading up to it are really important too because everybody's fighting for a place in the team and looking to play themselves into a bit of form for what will be a huge game against Warrington."


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