Castleford Tigers claimed victory at Warrington Wolves to set up a playoff match at either Wigan Warriors or Salford Red Devils next week.
They won 14-12 to confirm a miserable ending to the season for the Wolves.
It was a tight first half, but it was Cas who scored first as Adam Milner went over after 28 minutes. Peter Mata’uita converted to make it a six point advantage for the Tigers, which they held through to half time.
There was a blow for Warrington as well as Blake Austin, not long back after injury, was forced off once more with a knock.
Wire started the second half fast and scored just two minutes in through Jake Mamo. Stefan Ratchford converted to level the scores.
However, just five minutes later, the Tigers retook the lead as Jordan Rankin managed to go over. Mata’uita converted to make it a six point buffer for Castleford.
Then came the games crucial point as Mata’uita kicked what would be a crucial penalty with ten minutes to go.
Warrington did threaten to make it interesting as Chris Hill bundled over. Ratchford converted to make it just a two point game moving into the final stages.
But the Tigers held on for a crucial victory to keep their hopes of reaching a second Grand Final alive. They now head to the losers of Fridays game between Wigan and Salford next Friday.
As for Warrington, a season that a real high with the Challenge Cup win ends with disappointment. They will now do a post-mortem and be ready to go again next season.