Leeds captain Danny McGuire believes his clubs early exit from the Challenge Cup could prove to be a blessing in disguise as they look to start their climb up the Super League ladder. The Rhinos ailing fortunes hit rock bottom with their 36-22 sixth-round defeat at Huddersfield last Friday but, after playing virtually every week of the season during their two-year Cup reign, it will at least offer them some respite with three blank weekends to come over the next three months.Maybe that is a little bit of a blessing, said McGuire, who is expected to return from injury to lead the side against Castleford at Headingley on Thursday, live on Sky Sports 3 HD from 7.30pm. We can get a couple of weekends off here and there and rest players and focus on the league competition.Wed still love to be in the Challenge Cup because we know how special it is, but its not to be this year so we have to focus on playing well in the league.McGuires sentiments are echoed by his long-serving team-mate Rob Burrow, who is one of only three ever-presents in Leeds injury-ravaged season so far. Although were sitting bottom of the league, we still feel were capable of a good run. Danny McGuire The cup is a real distraction, he said. Weve enjoyed being involved with that and wed love to have been there again this year but weve got to forget about that now.We need to put all our eggs in the one basket and climb up the league and get into that top eight.We say it every week that we need to do it quick because the games are running out. Jake Webster scored twice in Castlefords win over Leeds on March 24 If the bottom-of-the-table reigning champions are to reach the Super 8s, Castleford are one of the teams they will need to overtake.The Tigers are five points ahead in eighth spot and although they have lost their last three league games, they bounced back to form with an impressive 32-18 Cup win over Salford last week and have their sights set on completing the double over their neighbours following their 18-14 win at the Jungle at Easter.Cas are a great side and they did really well at the weekend with some halves who dont usually play there, said Burrow. Theyre winning with injuries and were not. Castleford head coach Daryl Powell talks to Sky Sports about the season so far McGuire, who has missed Leeds last four matches with a nagging calf injury, insists spirits remain high at Headingley despite their troubles on the pitch.The mood is good to be honest, he said. Its tough when youre not winning and youre not playing well.It can be a tough environment to be around. But weve got a good set of lads in this team, all pulling in the right direction.Although were sitting bottom of the league, we still feel were capable of a good run. We just need to get some consistency and pick up some wins and then see where we are after 23 rounds. Highlights of Castlefords victory over Leeds earlier this season Castleford will give a debut to winger Paddy Flynn, who has joined them on loan from Widnes, and have full-back Luke Dorn and acting captain Luke Gale back from injury.Loose forward Nathan Massey has been included in coach Daryl Powells initial squad despite dislocating a kneecap in the win over Salford.Leeds Rhinos: Mitch Achurch, Luke Briscoe, Rob Burrow, Adam Cuthbertson, Brett Ferres, Keith Galloway, Mitch Garbutt, Ashton Golding, Ash Handley, Zak Hardaker, Jamie Jones-Buchanan, Jimmy Keinhorst, Jordan Lilley, Danny McGuire, Anthony Mullally, Brad Singleton, Liam Sutcliffe, Josh Walters, Kallum Watkins.Castleford Tigers: Matt Cook, Ben Crooks, Luke Dorn, Paddy Flynn, Luke Gale, Lee Jewitt, Will Maher, Nathan Massey, Mike McMeeken, Paul McShane, Grant Millington, Adam Milner, Junior Moors, Joel Monaghan, Larne Patrick, Gadwin Springer, Denny Solomona, Danny Tickle, Jake Webster.Watch Leeds v Castleford live on Sky Sports 3 HD on Thursday from 7.30pm. 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The Kings paraded the Stanley Cup through downtown Los Angeles on Monday to celebrate their second NHL title in three seasons.Madrid, Spain (SportsNetwork.com) - Cristiano Ronaldos absence on Saturday proved to be a moot point as Real Madrid overturned an early deficit to collect three points from a 4-1 defeat of Real Sociedad at the Bernabeu. The Portuguese star was unavailable for selection due to suspension, and it appeared as though his services would be needed after Aritz Elustondo nodded home a corner kick in the opening minute to give visiting Sociedad the lead. But the hosts cruised the rest of the way, equalizing two minutes later with a headed goal of their own as James Rodriguez got on the end of Marcelos chip into the box and guided the delivery into the upper corner. Sergio Ramos handed Real Madrid the lead in the 37th minute when he occupied an advanced position and slammed home a rebound from Karim Benzemas shot. Benzema then got in on the act in the second period, scoring twice to put the final result on ice. The Frenchman made it three in the 52nd minute after working a give-and-go with Gareth Bale, taking the return pass and sliding it into an empty net.dddddddddddd The dagger was the pick of the lot as Benzema ran on to a soft pass from Isco in the 76th minute and curled a sensational first-time effort into the upper corner. The commanding victory sees Real Madrid improve to 51 points to stay atop the La Liga table. Real Sociedad, meanwhile, stays put on 22 points. Atletico Madrid kept pace with Real Madrid by earning a 3-1 victory at Eibar on Saturday. Antoine Griezmann opened the scoring for Atletico in the seventh minute while a brace from Mario Mandzukic put the visitors in a comfortable position. Federico Piovaccari pulled one back for Eibar in the 89th minute, but it was merely a consolation goal as Atletico climbs level with second-place Barcelona on 47 points apiece. 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