FOR a club that was never away from the Challenge Cup Final for long between 1996 and 2008 the last 10 years have felt like an eternity.

This is the longest period Saints have been away from Wembley since World War II – but to put that into context, this year Saturday’s opponents Wakefield have marked 40 years since their last journey to the old Twin Towers.

And we all know how they got there that day, by sneaking a late interception, with David Topliss heading downfield in the closing stages and next minute the long-haired wingman Andrew Fletcher was dashing over the whitewash.

It was a heartbreaker.

But you can guarantee nobody supporting Wakefield that day would have ever thought that that would be their last hurrah at Wembley. This is a club that was never away from the place in the 1960s.

It does go to show that sport can be very cyclical, and nobody has the right to win anything.

But for Saints, you have to look at the team and the way they have been playing to have real hope and belief that the Wembley absence is going to be over.

We thought all this last year, before being systematically demolished by eventual winner Catalans at Wembley – and if there is any lesson for this crop to take on board from that painful day, it is to know that league position will count for nothing against a team capable of lifting themselves for one big game.

Hopefully, despite it being an all pay game, Saints can get a big, vocal crowd in there on Saturday to give the team the lift they need to take them to that further step to Wembley.

It has been too long away from the game’s most historic showpiece - let’s roar the team into the semi-finals.