HI, it’s Andy here.
I don’t know how many emotions someone can go through during the course of a week, but I think I experienced a fair few of them in the build-up to our Challenge Cup final at Wembley.
It started with excitement when I knew I would be making my return from an eight-match injury lay-off at St Helens, then it was relief after I came through unscathed to put myself in the frame for a Cup final call.
It was then one of nerves waiting to find out, closely followed by bitter disappointment when Nathan Brown told me last Tuesday that I hadn’t made it.
After that, it was probably envy towards those lucky enough to have made the side and then I felt absolutely gutted when we lost the final itself.
As a result, I really can’t wait to get back out on the field at Celtic Crusaders tonight and channel all those emotions towards putting in a top performance as we try and put the Challenge Cup final disappointment firmly behind us and re-focus on our Super League campaign.
It’s something I’m very confident we’ll do, because I know how much the boys who played at Wembley last weekend want to get back out onto the field and prove to everyone that the Cup final performance was a one-off.
As I said, for me it’s a case of just getting back out onto the field and aiming to finish the season as strongly as possible.
It’s something I’m desperate to do, because this year has been a tale of injury woe. I’ve spent far too long on the sidelines.
But even though I was sat in the stands at Wembley last weekend when I was injury-free and it was a painful experience, I can understand why it was done.
Even though I had played over 50 minutes at Saints the week before and suffered no ill-effects I still knew I only had an outside chance of selection.
In my absence, the boys have obviously been playing extremely well, and I couldn’t really expect to muscle my way straight back in when everyone else has been playing regularly and playing well.
But it still came as a bitter low when Nathan took me to one side early last week to tell me the bad news, although I did appreciate the way in which he did it.
First of all, he decided to tell me at the start of the week so I wasn’t kept wondering, and he also explained exactly why I wouldn’t be playing, which was also fair enough.
He also told me straight away that he still wanted me to come down with the squad and play as active a role as possible in the countdown to the final. That helped soften the blow.
But, obviously, it couldn’t make up entirely for the way I felt knowing I wouldn’t be playing.
After playing at Twickenham in 2006 I really was desperate to play at Wembley this time around.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t to be. But there’s always next year!