Wakefield captain Danny Kirmond says reaching the play-offs is a massive achievement for the club.
Kirmond, 26, has led from the front for the Wildcats this year as they ended the regular season with seven straight wins to earn a top eight finish, little more than a year after many expected them to lose their place in Super League.
He said: “It’s massive for the club. We spoke about building and changing the reputation of the club after Andrew (Glover) took over, and getting in to the play-offs is a big step towards that. Hopefully it’s changing how people look at us on the field.
“The winning run does a lot for your confidence, and it’s hard to get out of a run, be it a winning run or a losing run, so gladly we’re on a winning run going in to the play-offs.”
As well as improvements on the field, the Wildcats have made significant steps off it, and attendances are up 25% on last season.
Kirmond added: “The fans have been really good this year. Even at the start of the season when performances weren’t as good as they could have been, the fans were patient and bought in to the ethos, and now we’ve been on the winning run, they’ve been really good in turning up in their numbers and getting behind us.
“We’re on a good run and we want to carry that on. We’ve got to keep going and do as best as we can in these play-offs.”
Wakefield travel to Headingley to face Leeds on Saturday, and they go in to that game with the knowledge that they have already beaten the Rhinos this season, as well as scoring 40 points in a narrow defeat on their last visit to the home of the champions.
Kirmond said: “We’ve been competitive against them this year, and we’re confident. We’ve just got to focus on ourselves and make sure we give our best performance. It’s knockout rugby now, so we’ve got as much chance as anybody else, and we want to put in a good performance.”
Former Huddersfield and Featherstone back-rower Kirmond has scored nine tries in 22 Super League appearances for the Wildcats this season.