INFLUENTIAL Huddersfield Giants playmaker Brandon Costin believes tomorrow's massive Challenge Cup semi-final showdown against St Helens (3.15) will prove just how far the club has progressed.
The Giants have made a dream start to their campaign under new coach Jon Sharp, with tomorrow's last-four clash coming a month after the McAlpine men had a spell at the top of Super League.
They are still commanding a highly creditable fourth place in the competition and are, of course, just one step away from reaching the Challenge Cup final for the first time in 42 years.
But Costin still feels the Giants have a major point to prove if they are to gain the respect they truly deserve - and that can be achieved with a win over Saints tomorrow.
"These are fantastic times for this club, and as players we're all proud that we have helped the Giants to their best start to a Super League season," said the 29-year-old Australian.
"We all read the press and we're enjoying all the positive things that are being said about us. It does give us a huge lift.
"Yet, at the same time, we're not letting all this hype get the better of us. We have been making sure we keep our feet planted very firmly on the ground.
"We appreciate there's a great sense of achievement that the club has reached its first semi-final for 33 years.
"But we're not losing sight of the fact that we haven't beaten any team of real note to get here.
"With all due respect to Pia, Doncaster and York, there's no way we should ever lose to sides like that.
"So, as a group of players, there's been no real sense of achievement.
"As far as we're all concerned, we have achieved nothing yet.
"The real achievement would be to beat St Helens, and that's what we fully intend to do.
"This match against Saints is the real proof of how successful we are. It's our massive chance to prove to everyone the Huddersfield Giants are a side that deserve total respect.
"Tomorrow is the time to stand up and be counted, and to show the rest of the sporting world that we are as good as we know we are.
"We obviously we can't afford to take St Helens for granted, that's asking for trouble against a champion team like that.
"But we go into that match knowing all the pressure is on the opposition, and if we play to our full potential anything is possible.
"We will be treating St Helens with the respect they deserve, but we know they are beatable."
And Costin also believes a Challenge Cup final appearance would firmly establish the Giants as a genuine major force in British rugby league.
"I have seen how far this club has progressed since I first arrived in 2001," added Costin, who spent the 2002 season with Bradford Bulls and played in the Super League Grand Final when they were narrowly beaten by St Helens at Old Trafford.
"A Challenge Cup final would kick-start a decade of the Giants being a dominant force in Super League.
"Everything is definitely in place for that to be achieved.
"All that is now required is for us to go out there tomorrow, produce the performance of our lives and beat St Helens.
"It can be achieved."