HAVING won Grand Finals at Old Trafford and scored hat-tricks at Anfield wing Tommy Makinson dreams of walking out at Wembley - that great un-ticked box for this whole generation of Saints players.

But he is not getting ahead of himself and looking past semi-final opponents Halifax.

Saints, 10 points clear at the Super League summit, are huge favourites to see off the mid-table Championship outfit.

Golden Boot winner Makinson said: “You can’t look past this game – it is a semi final for us and is massive.

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“Halifax are in front of us they have played well to get here and we will pay them the respect of playing the best we can against them.

“Wembley is massive – and it would mean everything to play there.

“For a player – no matter who you play for – it would fulfil a boyhood dream.

“We have got a semi first – and we need a good result here first and move on from that.”

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Saints appear better equipped this year and have built a clear lead at the top after crushing the fellow top four sides in the past month.

Their level of control and composure augurs well for the big games to come, where the prizes are handed out.

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“People, players and coaches – everyone improving,” Makinson said.

“For me as a player you have to keep going forward – if you stand still you are going backwards.

“It is about improving every little area where you possibly can.

“Last year we were not the best – and this year we are still not the best side as you have got to put a full season together, stay injury free, play your best rugby and win those trophies.

“Our fitness levels, strength and will to win for each other is really going strong – and long may that continue.”

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But has last year’s mullering by Catalans on a baking hot Bolton afternoon left any scars or taught them any lessons?

Makinson replied: “We were expected to win against Catalans but we got beat because we did not turn up and play well.

“That shows a credit to the competition. If you turn up against any rugby league side and you think you are simply going to push them aside, then you are kidding yourselves.

“We are St Helens, we are expected to win big trophies, but we have not – and have to play well in the big games to start winning those cups again.

"This is a big game – so much riding on it the winners get to go to Wembley."

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Makinson paid due respect to the part-timers of Halifax and what they do to combine work with playing.

He said: "I am lucky enough to do this as a full time job. Those Halifax lads have families and are working – and they are playing their absolute hardest in one of the toughest games on the planet.

"They are coming here on Saturday and this is their dream. I know Ste Tyrer and he is a hell of a player, who could still play Super League. "If we underestimate Halifax then you do so at your peril."

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Makinson was one of 10 or so players who sat out the trip to London ahead of this game.

Makinson believes that decision will be vindicated by results.

"Justin is a smart coach," he said.

"We don’t need a rest, but it is more mental. We are 10 points clear and are going really well – Justin decided to rest a few heads.

"We are feeling fresh and ready to go.

"Everything is going great but it is coming down to the business end games and we go into them full of confidence and I am looking forward to it."

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