Wakefield Trinity Wildcats forward Nick Scruton admits he feared the opportunity to walk out at Wembley had passed him by – which is why he’s determined to not let today’s semi-final against Warrington end in heartache again.
Scruton has lost two semi-finals throughout his career, both during his time at Leeds. He admits that given how Wakefield’s primary objectives have involved avoiding relegation in recent years, major finals were at the back of his mind.
Yet with the Wildcats just one win from Wembley, Scruton told TotalRL that he would be fulfilling a lifelong goal by winning today and reaching the final of the Challenge Cup.
“It’s been a few years since I got to one, 2008 was the last time I played in one like Wakefield. There’s not many of us played in these big games so everyone is absolutely buzzing, we can’t wait,” he said.
“I thought it had passed me by, to be honest. With only a couple of years left to play and with the way we’ve been for the last few years – in survival mode – you don’t think you’ll get to it, so it’s an honour to be back in a semi-final and we will give it everything, and we believe we’ve got a real chance of making to Wembley.”
Scruton also admitted that, despite winning a World Club Challenge and playing in Grand Finals, victory against Warrington today would be the pinnacle of his career.
“It’s one of the things you dream of as a kid. My main motivation is making my boys proud and if they can see me walk out at Wembley it would be a dream come true and something I’ll never forget.
“It would be the highlight of my career if we won I think. The Grand Finals were massive but I was coming off the bench back then, so now I’m more of a senior player and it would mean that little bit more if we got it done.”
And Scruton insisted that the impact of coach Chris Chester – who saw off Warrington at this stage last year while in charge of Hull KR – could be crucial.
“Hopefully Chezzy’s influence will rub off on us, because they approached it properly and played well on the day. We know we’ve got the team to trouble Warrington; if we’re in with a chance in the last 10 minutes we know we’ve got the players to get us over the line.
“Against Warrington they try to blow you away at the start so we know that if we’re in it after the first quarter we’ll be right in the mix.”