WAKEFIELD Trinity Wildcats prop Nick Scruton will be 32 by the time next season starts so is well aware chances to savour Wembley and a Challenge Cup final are fading.
That is why he will be all the more keen to help steer his side past Warrington Wolves in this afternoon’s semi-final at Leigh Sports Village.
Scruton won a Grand Final winner’s ring with Leeds Rhinos in 2008, his last act before moving for a six-year stint at Bradford Bulls, but has not lifted a trophy since.
“This will be my third semi-final,” he said. “I’ve played in two for Leeds and a few quarter-finals with Bradford, but never got further than that.
“It would be really nice to do it this year. I have come close a few times so it would be good to finally get over the line.
“I haven’t got many years left. I am 31 so I know I am coming to the twilight of my career and it would be nice to get there before I hang my boots up.”
It is also rewarding for Scruton and his team-mates to be involved in such a momentous game without all the negativity and pressure that surrounded their last such fixture.
Jobs were on the line last year when Wakefield, having finished bottom, only saved their Super League status by virtue of a tense and fraught ‘Million-Pound Game’ win over his former club Bradford.
“That had a big-game feeling, but it is a different feeling to being in a semi-final,” he said, Trinity having avoided that torment by coming eighth this time around under new head coach Chris Chester.
“We are in with a decent shout against Warrington.
“Obviously we are going to be massive underdogs, but in a semi-final you just never know.
“It’s one of those games where if we get the bounce of the ball, anything can happen.
“There’s not that much big-game experience in our team, but I think that might work in our favour. We have got a pretty laidback team and we’re going to take it all in our stride and see where it takes us.”