Huddersfield Giants' Danny Brough knows the Giants will have to produce the biggest 80 minutes of their lives to guarantee a historic win at Warrington Wolves tonight.
Victory at the Halliwell Jones Stadium will secure Huddersfield a first appearance in the Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford next Saturday.
Even though the Giants claimed the Super League Leaders’ Shield a month ago after securing a first top-of-the-table finish in 81 years, Huddersfield are the underdogs.
But inspirational captain Brough knows that if the Giants build on the form they produced to destroy Hull FC 76-18 at the John Smith’s Stadium last Thursday, there’s no reason why they can’t be preparing for a trip to the Theatre of Dreams.
“The excitement has been building all week, and we feel ready to play,” said Brough.
“Our confidence is high and we feel ready to put in our best performance. We’re 80 minutes away from a Grand Final, and if that doesn’t spur you on, nothing will.
“The aim is for us to go there tonight and treat it as if it’s our last game, which we obviously hope it won’t!
“We can’t afford to leave anything in the tank. We have to give it absolutely everything and not think about the possibility of playing at Old Trafford at this stage.
“At this moment, the possibility of going there and lifting the Super League trophy couldn’t be further from my mind.
“If we don’t win at Warrington tonight, it won’t be happening, so all our focus is on this one game.
“I know everyone goes on about our recent poor record against them, but I prefer to remember our fantastic play-off win at
Warrington three years ago, when Leroy scored that long-range try to clinch it.
“We showed that night we can beat them, and hopefully we’ll show that again tonight.”
Brough has received another major boost after being named the Rugby League Writers’ Association player of the year.
The goalkicking half-back, who inspired the Giants to their first top-of-the-table finish for 81 years, finished just ahead of Leeds’ former England captain Jamie Peacock in a poll carried out at the end of the regular Super League season.
Other players in the running for the award were Warrington hooker Mick Higham and Huddersfield prop Eorl Crabtree.
“Danny Brough has been one of the top players in Super League for a number of years but this year he has been truly outstanding,” said association chairman Trevor Hunt.
“He has made no little contribution to Huddersfield’s first league success for 81 years and that no doubt got him the edge over Jamie Peacock.”
Brough kicked 12 goals in his last match, Huddersfield’s 76-18 play-off win over Hull last Thursday, to break Ben Gronow’s club record of 147 goals in a season which stood for 93 years and he also smashed Pat Devery’s record for points in a season set in 1953.
The Scotland international will be
presented with his award at the association’s annual dinner, which will have a World-Cup theme, in Manchester on November 26.
Brough, who was named in the 2013 Super League Dream Team, was last week presented with the Albert Goldthorpe Medal as reward for his consistency over the 27 rounds of Super League and will be hoping to complete a hat-trick of awards at the Man of Steel ceremony next Monday.
He is on a three-man short-list, along with Peacock and Wigan captain Sean O’Loughlin, for the annual prize awarded to the Super League player judged to have made the biggest impact on the season.
“I’m really pleased and privileged to receive all these awards this year,” Brough said.
“I put that down to having a good team around me and a good set of lads. It’s been a real team effort.”