YORK City Knights have an extra reason to beat Workington tomorrow and seal fourth place in Kingstone Press League One – to avoid another trip to Toronto in the Super 8s.

The top four teams at the end of the regular season get an extra home match in the 8s – four home games and three away whereas the others get three at home and four away.

But in the provisional fixture list for the next phase of the season, it has been confirmed that whoever finishes fourth will face the first-placed team – unbeaten Toronto – at home whereas the teams in fifth and sixth will have to go over the Atlantic.

With the top three in the clear, the battle is on between York, Newcastle and Doncaster for that spot, and the three will almost certainly be checking on each other's progress tomorrow afternoon.

James Ford's men currently have it but only on points-difference, so, as well as beating Town, they may have to beat the scoreboard too, depending on how Newcastle fair against 10th-placed Hunslet and how heavily Doncaster beat Gloucestershire.

York's points-difference is currently plus-148, Newcastle's is plus-132 and the Dons' is plus-84.

Fourth place would mean treks to both Barrow and Whitehaven, who meet this weekend to decide who ends second and third, but, having bemoaned the logistics and detrimental knock-on effects of a long weekend in Canada, head coach Ford would much prefer Cumbria to another transatlantic trip.

Furthermore, with seventh-placed Worky all but secured of their own Super 8s spot, tomorrow's game is already a four-pointer in the race for the top-five play-offs.

“My thoughts on going to Toronto are clear,” said Ford, whose side also travelled to Toulouse three times last season – in the league, the 8s and the play-offs – as well as Canada a fortnight ago.

“On the back of that, we're really keen to finish fourth. Additionally it's important to take the points into the 8s and then have a real crack at catching Whitehaven or Barrow for third place come the play-offs.

“I think it will be difficult to get second because of the amount of games we lost at the start of the season. We'd need a tremendous drop in form from them two for us to pass them both.

“But we want to win games and put pressure on the teams above us. If we get third or fourth for the play-offs, brilliant. If we get fifth, then good. We have no fear about going to Barrow or Whitehaven in the play-offs – let's make that perfectly clear.”

Asked how important tomorrow's Bootham Crescent clash (3pm) was in the season as a whole, Ford said: “We're treating is as a big game. We're going into it with a must-win attitude. We want to be fourth, and it's good practice for when we come into the 8s, which are all must-win games.

“It's a four-point game as well – whoever wins will be better off in the 8s.”

Seventh-placed Workington are virtually safe in the 8s after last week's draw with Keighley – sitting two points above ninth-placed North Wales but with a points-difference advantage over them of 179.

Provisional fixtures for Super 8s:

The 4th-placed team will play 1st, 5th, 7th and 8th at home, and 2nd, 3rd and 6th away.

The 5th-placed team will play 3rd, 6th and 7th at home and will travel to 1st, 2nd, 4th and 8th.

The 6th-placed team will play 1st, 4th and 8th at home and travel to 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 7th.