YOU can always sense when it’s a Challenge Cup week.
There’s still something magical about this famous old knockout competition, and there’s no doubt the boys can’t wait to get cracking against London Broncos in Sunday’s quarter-final tie.
I think the fact it’s a sudden-death competition makes the build-up feel a little different.
You know if you win you’re one step closer to a Wembley final, but if you lose your dreams are shattered for another year.
As a result, the training feels a bit different, and the excitement levels grow.
We know if we win this weekend, we’re just 80 minutes away from returning to Wembley and playing in a Challenge Cup final once again. Just thinking about it adds to the sense of excitement!
And I know it’s a view shared by the fans.
Just like the players, they love the trips to Wembley, and it would be great to be able to make that trip to the capital possible this time around.
To be honest, we feel that would be a fitting reward for the way the support for the club is continuing to grow and grow and grow.
That was never more apparent than in the South of France last weekend when there were around 1,000 Giants fans inside the stadium.
We’ve never had backing like that out there before.
So now we’re hoping the fans turn out in force this weekend for what we know is going to be a very testing Challenge Cup assignment.
Because of the way the Super League season’s been going for the Broncos, the Cup is going to be their best chance of gaining any sort of success in 2012.
As a result, we’re expecting them to play to their full potential and make life as uncomfortable as they possibly can from us straight from the start.
But if they think we’ll be any less determined to reach the semi-finals they can think again!
After a recent good run of results, we re-discovered what it was like to lose a game last weekend with our narrow defeat at Catalan.
It wasn’t a nice feeling at all, and I know it’s something we don’t want to experience again in a hurry!