Huddersfield Giants' captain Brett Hodgson's column: The time has come!
Sep 24 2010 by Chris Roberts, Huddersfield Daily Examiner
TWO down, two to go.
Having savoured semi-finals success over Crusaders and Warrington Wolves in the play-offs, it’s now a trip to St Helens tonight before we go and win the Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford next Saturday night!
Okay, I may be getting a little ahead of myself.
But with the way things have been going, there’s no reason at all why we can’t win at Knowsley Road tonight and then repeat the act at Manchester United’s Theatre of Dreams.
Obviously, that doesn’t mean we aren’t going to treat Saints with the respect they deserve.
They are a quality side and pose major threats all across the field.
I’ve played State of Origin with Matt Gidley and he’s a world-class centre, but if we focus our attention solely on him then we know one of their other international stars will take full advantage and punish us.
And Saints are, of course, the only side we haven’t beaten in Super League this season.
I suppose that’s something we could beat ourselves up about, but this time last week we hadn’t beaten Warrington this year either – and look what happened at the Halliwell Jones last Saturday!
That really was a fantastic performance and our victory was richly deserved.
It was without question the best game I’ve ever seen Danny Brough play, and with Broughy in that sort of form we’re always going to be in with a chance.
But, as I keep on saying, it’s your forwards who need to do the initial work.
It’s vital your pack wins the arm wrestle early on and if they do that then you’re well on your way.
It’s then up to your halves to carry on the good work and for the other backs to get involved and combine as well as they can to produce the all-round team display that will get the job successfully done.
That was the formula that got us the win at Warrington, and it’s that formula which will bring us success at Saints tonight.
Then we can really start to dream about Old Trafford.
I know we can’t focus too much at this stage about going to Manchester, because there’s the small matter of trying to win at Saints first and if we lose sight of that then we’re asking for trouble.
But I’d be lying if I said playing at Old Trafford hadn’t kept popping into our heads during the course of this week, and if we give it the right amount of thought there’s no question it can act as a major source of motivation.
And there’s also no doubt that at this stage of the season you face a mental battle as much as a physical one.
It’s a case of playing through the bumps and bruises – which every single player is bound to be doing after such a demanding season – and making sure you’re in the best possible condition you can be.
And if you can do that and get yourselves up mentally, then anything really can happen.