ONE thing is for certain this weekend, when super-league referee Scott Mikalauskas blows full-time tomorrow in the Coral Challenge Cup quarter-final, either Halifax or the Bradford Bulls edge 80 minutes closer to rewriting the history that abounds the 123- year-old competition.

It seems that never before in the history of the longest-running cup rugby knock-out competition in the world, has a part-time professional rugby club made the final of the Challenge Cup.

The Challenge Cup has been held annually since 1896, and with the exception of two periods between 1915-1919 and 1939-1940, it has continued with the centrepiece being the prestigious final held at Wembley Stadium.

Like many young boys and girls around the world, I would watch the Challenge Cup final on TV and be captivated by the huge crowds, in attendance as the magic that is the Challenge Cup would cast its spell over me, and around the world to the millions who would tune in to witness history being recorded, and the verses of Abide With Me, ring out.

Master coach Graham Lowe, would often share with me his memories of the Challenge Cup play-offs and the finals he was involved in as coach of Wigan between 1986 and 1989 and during his tenure won the cup final in 1988 and 1989.

He describes the magic of pursuing the holy grail of rugby league as coaches, players and fans alike become captivated to its mystic.

That magic was there for all to see on May 11 this year, when a part-time Bradford Bulls team defeated a full strength Leeds Rhinos outfit in front of the largest crowd to grace Odsal Stadium in probably a decade, witnessed live around the country and the globe by millions, thanks to BBC.

I think all rugby league pundits globally recognise the magnitude of that result, and history will judge if it marks a turning point in the club's modern history.

I can see the pride on display in this great city, (the youngest city in the UK I might add), in a way I haven’t witnessed since arriving for this rugby resurrection and adventure 866 days ago.

To see so many young children, adults and generally everybody out and about proudly wearing the red amber and black made me stop and think, how uplifting it is for everyone involved, to see the resurrection of a giant club in this great game.

To witness the kids riding their bikes up and down the street, to the parents and grandparents going about their business, or indeed the council workers wearing the playing kit, under their council issued high-viz, makes me feel extremely proud to be a part of Bradford and the Bulls.

I have received countless texts and emails from fans alike, hailing the defeat of Leeds as bringing back a flood of memories long since forgotten of watching games with parents and grand-parents and loved ones on the terraces.

They warmly describe that feeling returning of the good-times and joy they felt growing up with and watching their team play and win.

And the tears they shed men woman and children alike, by beating Leeds.

Mr Rugby League, Dave Woods, classically described it as an outpouring of emotion built up from 10 years or more of hurt and anguish for the fans and the club. I truly get it.

And uplifting it is. Make no mistake we are all on a journey, club and fans alike, which is about restoring this club to the highest levels of the game.

It will take time, it will take patience, but it also take commitment from not just the players and the coaching staff, it takes the commitment of the legion of fans who grace the terraces of Odsal Stadium, or who tune in on-line or on their televisions and phones, and from our commercial partners who also help make a difference.

Without that support and unwavering commitment, the Bradford Bulls would simply not exist. This club exists because the fans want it to exist.

Under the guiding hand of coaching guru John Kear, the Bulls have created the opportunity to win a place in the semi-final triple header to be staged at Bolton, on July 27.

As most of you will probably know, JK has won this cup in 1998 with Sheffield Eagles and 2005 with Hull, so we have at the club helm for this competition not just a great and respected leader, but a proven coach on the Challenge Cup battlefield.

The Bolton event, will now also incorporate the Coral Women’s Challenge Cup final.

A trophy already engraved with the Bradford Bulls upon it, as our Women’s team swept all before them in the inaugural 2017 year. We hope our fantastic Women’s team can also win their way through the women’s draw.

But of course standing between the semi-final berth for JK and his men, are the Scott Grix led Halifax.

This clash is being billed as the Game of Fire and Ice, with a race to the throne.

Unquestionably it will be an absolute all-out battle, with everything to play for and no prize for second place.

I think you could probably see the energy being omitted from this clash from the space station it will be that intense. It’s that big.

Excuses count for nothing. In the world of sudden death rugby league, first place is all that matters.

To overcome our foe from Halifax, will take the efforts and energy of players, coaches and our army of fans alike.

I know our #BullsNation will assemble on mass and sing and chant for the Brotherhood of Bulls, as we challenge for our place in history.

Tomorrow Odsal Stadium becomes the centre of the rugby league universe. Come and support and cheer your Bradford Bulls team to success.

Check out the extensive Game Day Guide online or in the T&A, as we prepare for this blockbuster event. Kick-off is 2.45pm. Slightly earlier to accommodate the BBC’s broadcast requirements.

As we will have a large crowd, it is also important to allow plenty of time to enter the stadium and get to your seats or preferred places on the terraces early. Gates open at 11.30am, as we have an Academy curtain raiser against the Huddersfield Giants kicking off at noon, along with a full pre-game entertainment programme. Strap yourself in, and enjoy the ride.

Get your tickets from the club shop or at #COYB #BullsNation #BrotherhoodOfBulls.