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Hardaker: Feeling confident

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Centre Zak Hardaker believes that confidence is high among the Wigan ranks ahead of Saturday’s Coral Challenge Cup Semi Final with Leeds.

Adrian Lam’s men will take on the Rhinos at St Helens’ Totally Wicked Stadium (2:30pm K.O.) for a place in the historic trophy’s final.

Speaking to the media via Zoom link ahead of the crucial cup tie, Hardaker expressed his understanding of how important the competition is to the Cherry and Whites.

“It’s a big issue for Wigan. Last year when we got knocked out it was a big disappointment. 

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— Wigan Warriors 🍒⚪ (@WiganWarriorsRL) October 2, 2020

“It’s something that Wigan hold in high regard. We do talk about it being ‘Wigan’s trophy’, having won it the most times.”

“There’s a rich heritage that goes with Wigan and the trophy.” 

And despite being within touching distance of the final, the 28 year-old knows a shot at silverware won’t come easy.

“It’s something that you have to earn and after the disappointment of last year, it’s something we definitely want to win.”

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The Wigan squad going through their final preparations ahead of the Semi Final.

Richard Agar’s Leeds stand in Wigan’s way, heading into the bout with plenty of momentum after a convincing 48-18 win over Hull KR in the Quarter Finals.

Despite the tough opposition, Hardaker discussed the positive attitude among the Wigan squad.

“Just one more game puts us in the final, we’ve got as good of a chance as any.”

“The boys are feeling really confident and we are looking forward to having a shot at Wembley.”

C12V1827-683x1024.jpgHardaker won two Challenge Cups with Leeds Rhinos in 2014 & 2015.

Having won two Challenge Cups in front of bumper crowds at Wembley in the past with Leeds, Hardaker knows what it feels like to succeed in a final.

However, despite the fact that the final will be played behind closed doors, the Warriors centre still believes a Wembley final has plenty of attraction.

“The fans make the sport, there’s no question there, even if you play on a Tuesday or Wednesday night.”

He continued: “Obviously a final is a huge loss to everyone not having fans, but this year is not one you may reflect on for many years later. On the flip-side of it, the weirder it gets this season the more special winning the competition would be.”   

Hardaker did also stress that the Wigan squad must not get too ahead of themselves, with the Semi Final yet to play.

“There will still be 13 other men opposite us on Saturday trying to get to the final as well. We have to make it past them.”


The post Hardaker: Feeling confident appeared first on Wigan Warriors Blog.

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