HUDDERSFIELD GIANTS Michael Lawrence is eager to put a Challenge Cup hoodoo behind him.
The former Newsome Panthers junior is determined that he will be on the field when his hometown club face Warrington Wolves in the Carnegie Challenge Cup semi-final at Salford on Sunday, July 15.
The cup has become something of a painful experience for the 22-year-old as he was 18th man for both the semi-final and final at Wembley in 2009.
So ‘Bruno’, as the centre or second row forward is nicknamed, is eager to be in the starting line-up against the Wolves and said: “I’m desperate to play in the semi-final. I missed out on the semi-final and final in 2009, I was 18th man, so hopefully I can make the team for the big game this year.
“It’s huge for our club and it’s a massive game. Obviously, the semi-final is going to be the biggest game in everyone’s career because you don’t really look to the past, you look to what’s coming up so it’s the biggest game for everyone at the club and everyone’s desperate to do well.”
The semi-final is the Giants first outing at Salford’s new home ground at Barton and Lawrence is looking forward to stepping out at the ground and he wants to do so in front of a sea of claret and gold fans.
“I’m definitely looking forward to playing at Salford’s new ground,” he said.
“We haven’t played there yet, so I’m looking forward to seeing what it’s like.
“I’ve seen it on TV and it looks pretty good so I’m looking forward to getting out there.”
“It’d be great to see a big crowd of claret and gold fans there.
“It makes it easier for us boys when we’re playing and if we can fill half the stadium with claret and gold then hopefully it can give us that extra energy we need to go on and kick on and get to Wembley hopefully.”
Before the semi-final, the Giants have a Super League encounter at Castleford Tigers.
Despite the team losing out last time against Hull, Lawrence in confident the team can put it right against the Tigers on Sunday.
“It was a good, tough, close game against Hull but it was disappointing to be on the losing side.” he added.
“But it was the best we’d played for about four weeks now we were just unlucky. We lost a little bit of concentration and individual errors cost us in the end really.”
“We are definitely confident of getting the result at Castleford on Sunday. It will be a tough game, I don’t think we’ve won at Castleford for a couple of years now.”