PROLIFIC Wakefield Trinity Wildcats winger Tom Johnstone admits the club are getting a taste for proving critics wrong.
They delivered a fine 28-12 win at Huddersfield Giants in Thursday’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup quarter-final.
That has booked them into tonight’s semi-final draw as Wakefield – who last won the famous trophy with legendary Neil Fox in 1963 – moved one step closer to Wembley.
For a side that finished bottom of Super League last year, it is a fine feat, as is their current position of sixth.
Having helped Wakefield to victory with his 15th try from 20 games so far, Johnstone said: “It feels absolutely outstanding to be in the semis.
“The effort the boys put in there and the sheer graft was second to none.
“I feel we could have beaten anyone out there with that sort of character and it is special, especially after everyone had written us off.
“To get to where we are, just 80 minutes from the Challenge Cup final, is superb but now we have to keep our heads down and push on a little further.”
Trinity led just 14-8 at the break but Johnstone intercepted Scott Grix’s pass to race 85m in the 44th minute and his side never looked back.
“It lifted the boys a bit,” he admitted. “It gave us a bit of breathing space but we still had a lot of work to do as there was more than 30 minutes left at that point.”
A second try from David Fifita, the Australian prop recently signed from Cronulla Sharks, made sure.
He turns 27 on Tuesday when Trinity will be looking ahead to Sunday’s visit from St Helens.
Johnstone admitted: “He’s just a massive beast; he’s built like a fridge with legs.
“He’s been great to have around the place and has made an instant impact.”
Johnstone, too, is making progress in his first full season having caught the eye with some stunning displays last year.
“I’m still absolutely loving it here,” he said, showing his attributes once more versus Huddersfield.
“I’m really enjoying my time at Wakefield. I just want us to keep going and see how far we can go in both comps.
“People keep writing us off and we keep proving them wrong.”
Wakefield coach Chris Chester hailed one of his team’s best performances of the year after they reached the semi-finals.
Chester guided unfancied Hull KR all the way to Wembley in 2015 and is now just 80 minutes away from repeating the feat with his new club, although he insists they still have unfinished work in Super League.
“It’s a great feeling to be in the next round of the Challenge Cup,” he said.
“It’s a long time since this club have been involved in semi-finals and finals and it would be great to create our own bit of history.
“But we’re not getting ahead of ourselves. We’ve got a Super League campaign to worry about for the next four or five weeks and we want to have a good go at the top eight.”