RUGBY

Wi­gan boss Wane is­sues Chal­lenge Cup warn­ing

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS - — AFP

Wi­gan coach Shaun Wane has told his side they must raise their game if they are to win a record 20th Chal­lenge Cup when they face hold­ers Hull in next month’s Wem­b­ley fi­nal Wane’s men won through to the show­piece match with a 2714 semi-fi­nal win over Sal­ford at fel­low north­west club War­ring­ton’s Hal­li­well Jones Sta­dium on Sun­day.

Oliver Gil­dart scored two tries for Wi­gan in a match where Sam Tomkins was out­stand­ing for the War­riors. “To get back to Wem­b­ley is fan­tas­tic, but we have got there and that is it, there is another job to do,” said Wane, whose side won the Su­per League ti­tle last sea­son but lost in the Chal­lenge Cup semi-fi­nals to Hull. Cuphold­ers Hull over­pow­ered Leeds 43-24 in Satur­day’s first semi-fi­nal and Wane added: “We are go­ing to have to im­prove on that to­day if we are go­ing to beat Hull.”

“This feels fan­tas­tic com­pared to last year, last year was tough to take,” he added.

Wi­gan shot them­selves in the foot at times on Sun­day, los­ing both Sam Tomkins and An­thony Gelling to yel­low cards. But Wil­lie Isa and Michael McIlo­rum both crossed in ad­di­tion to Gil­dart’s dou­ble while Sam Tomkins added a late drop goalas he did in the pre­vi­ous round.

“We did 20 min­utes with 12 men, which is un­ac­cept­able and some­thing we will fix,” in­sisted Wane. “But I thought Sal­ford did a great job in test­ing con­di­tions, it just shows you what a great game rugby league is. “For us to get to Wem­b­ley is great and I am so proud for the fans be­cause they will love it.”

There will be some in­ter­est­ing split loy­al­ties in the Leu­luai house­hold for the fi­nal as Thomas’ dad James played for Hull FC and even scored two tries against Wi­gan in the 1985 Chal­lenge Cup fi­nal.

But for Leu­luai Jr-now in his sec­ond spell pulling the strings for Wi­gan — there is no doubt­ing his own al­le­giance. “The old man played for Hull back in the day and I grew up there as a young fella, I can’t re­mem­ber much about it but my sis­ter was born up there so both clubs are a big part of our fam­ily,” he said. “But I am here for Wi­gan and look­ing for­ward to go­ing there and play­ing Hull.

“It’s a special feel­ing to get to Wem­b­ley, we have had a bit of an up and down sea­son but we have got a lot of qual­ity and ex­pe­ri­ence here and I think that showed to­day (Sun­day).” Mean­while Sal­ford coach Ian Wat­son will now have to pick his side up for the Su­per 8s which be­gin next week­end af­ter this loss de­spite tries from Greg Johnson and debu­tant Ty­rone McCarthy.

“It was a big ef­fort from our boys, but th­ese are the games that we want to be in­volved in as a club and we will be in­volved in them again,” he said. “The more ex­pe­ri­ence we can take from th­ese games and learn on the run the bet­ter it is.”

He added: “We have to learn lessons from this and come back stronger, es­pe­cially in the Su­per 8s. But we will be here again and now fo­cus on what we need to do for the rest of the year.”

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