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Challenge Cup SF preview: Leeds Rhinos


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Everything you need to know for Saturday’s Coral Challenge Cup Semi Final tie with Leeds Rhinos.

The Brief

Wigan Warriors head to St Helens’ Totally Wicked Stadium on Saturday to take on Leeds Rhinos in the Semi Finals of the 2020 Coral Challenge Cup (K.O. 5pm), live on BBC One.

After easing past Hull FC in the Quarter Finals, Adrian Lam’s side take on Richard Agar’s Leeds in what will be their 29th meeting in the historic Cup competition.

The Rhinos progressed to the Semi Final stage having beaten Hull KR.

The Cherry and Whites have won more Challenge Cups than any other side in the competition’s history (19), and have a chance of making this year’s Final at Wembley on Saturday.

The other Semi Final will see Warrington Wolves take on Salford Red Devils at 5pm, live on BBC Two.

AM30677-1024x681.jpgThe Totally Wicked Stadium, St Helens.

Team News

After making ten changes ahead of Tuesday’s derby clash with St Helens, boss Lam has made a further ten ahead of the Semi Final.

Recent signing Brad Singleton misses out, however is expected to be up to speed and available within the next two weeks.

Second-row Morgan Smithies serves his sixth and final match ban received for two separate incidents during Wigan’s win over Castleford in Round 10. Learn more HERE.

Injury news

Back-rower Jack Wells is unavailable after picking up a knee injury against St Helens on Tuesday.

Wells-Holts-1024x576.jpg

Head Coach Lam also indicated that both prop-forwards Tony Clubb and George Burgess could return to action from their respective neck and hip injuries within two weeks.

Winger Liam Marshall continues his long-term recovery from an Anterior Cruciate Ligament knee injury sustained during the Round 10 tie with Castleford.

Here is Wigan’s 21-man squad:

CC-SF-21-SQUAD-1024x1024.jpg

The Opposition

Five players who featured in Leeds’ Betfred Super League clash against Catalans Dragons on Wednesday have been called up to the 21-man squad, with Adam Cuthbertson, Alex Sutcliffe, Jack Walker and Luke Briscoe all named.

Wigan-born Brad Dwyer could feature against his hometown club, for the first time since a positive Covid-19 Antigen test three weeks ago.

Likewise, centre Konrad Hurrell is included in the squad after completing his isolation period as part of the track and trace protocol.

Cameron Smith returns to the squad after recovering from the fractured cheekbone he suffered a month ago.

Here is Leeds’ 21-man squad:

Leeds Rhinos Head Coach Richard Agar has named his 21 man squad to face Wigan Warriors in the @thechallengecup semi final this Saturday
➡ Find out more here https://t.co/VNwcx2nujR pic.twitter.com/w8F3IWebiO

— Leeds Rhinos (@leedsrhinos) October 1, 2020

Did You Know?

Adrian Lam will take charge of his 50th Wigan game as Head Coach on Saturday.

78e441ce-19bc-4ecf-98ea-3276ccf566cf-102

Previous Meetings

Wigan have won the last five meetings with Leeds and have won seven of the last ten.

Last ten meetings:

  • Wigan 28, Leeds 10 (SLR9, 16/8/20 at Totally Wicked Stadium, St Helens)
  • Leeds 14, Wigan 23 (SLR18, 14/6/19)
  • Wigan 34, Leeds 16 (SLR2, 8/2/19)
  • Wigan 46, Leeds 8 (SLR19, 28/6/18)
  • Leeds 8, Wigan 9 (SLR11, 13/4/18)
  • Leeds 32, Wigan 16 (SLS8-R1, 4/8/17)
  • Wigan 34, Leeds 0 (SLR23, 21/7/17)
  • Leeds 26, Wigan 18 (SLR7, 31/3/17)
  • Leeds 18, Wigan 16 (SLR22, 15/7/16)
  • Leeds 8, Wigan 40 (SLR15, 21/5/16 at St James’ Park, Newcastle)

In the Challenge Cup, Wigan and Leeds have met 28 times, including three Finals and five Semi Finals

Preview Challenge Cup meetings:

  • 2012 (Semi Final) Leeds 39 Wigan 28 at Galpharm Stadium, Huddersfield)
  • 2011 (FINAL) Leeds 18 Wigan 28 at Wembley Stadium)
  • 2010 (Quarter Final) Leeds 12 Wigan 10
  • 2008 (Quarter Final) Leeds 23 Wigan 16
  • 2007 (Round 5) Leeds 18 Wigan 22
  • 1999 (Round 4) Leeds 28 Wigan 18
  • 1995 (FINAL) Leeds 10 Wigan 30 at Wembley Stadium)
  • 1994 (FINAL) Leeds 16 Wigan 26 at Wembley Stadium)
  • 1988 (Round 2) Wigan 30 Leeds 14
  • 1973 (Round 1) Leeds 11 Wigan 25
  • 1968 (Semi Final) Leeds 25 Wigan 4 at Station Road, Swinton)
  • 1966 (Semi Final) Leeds 2 Wigan 7 at Fartown, Huddersfield)
  • 1963 (Round 2) Wigan 20 Leeds 11
  • 1961 (Round 1) Leeds 5 Wigan 5
  • 1961 (Round 1, Replay) Wigan 32 Leeds 7
  • 1960 (Round 2) Wigan 14 Leeds 11
  • 1957 (Round 1) Leeds 13 Wigan 11
  • 1948 (Round 2) Wigan 17 Leeds 3
  • 1947 (Quarter Final) Wigan 0 Leeds 5
  • 1944 (Semi Final, First Leg) Leeds 10 Wigan 5
  • 1944 (Semi Final, Second Leg) Wigan 11 Leeds 4
  • 1938 (Round 1) Leeds 27 Wigan 4
  • 1927 (Round 2) Leeds 13 Wigan 3
  • 1926 (Round 2) Leeds 17 Wigan 10
  • 1925 (Round 2) Leeds 2 Wigan 0
  • 1913 (Round 1) Wigan 38 Leeds 0
  • 1911 (Quarter Final) Leeds 4 Wigan 13
  • 1899 (Round 2) Leeds 3 Wigan 0

The Stats

Jake Bibby needs one appearance to reach 100 for his career.

PC2_3256-1024x753.jpgBibby has made 12 appearances for Wigan in 2020.

The former Wigan South Stand Season Ticket Holder has played 12 games for the Warriors (2020), 78 for Salford Red Devils (2015-2019), three for Halifax (2017, dual-registration), three for Oldham (2016, loan) and three for North Wales Crusaders (2016, dual-registration).

Head to Head

Here are a few statistics between the two clubs in the history of the Challenge Cup, including tie wins, titles, runners-up, total finals and a battle between two in-form full-backs…

CC-Semi-Final-Leeds-head-to-head-1024x57 Head-To-Head-Multi-Stat-CC-SF-Leeds-1024

Coach Quotes

Speaking to the media via Zoom link on Wednesday, Lam discussed the importance of the competition to the Club.

Screenshot-2020-09-30-at-12.51.36-copy-1Adrian Lam speaking to the press via Zoom on Wednesday.

“We’ve spoken about the past and that both the Cup and Wigan are etched in history together. 

“To have only won it three times in the Super League era is incredible, having won it 19 times in total.” 

On his current squad and the Cup, Lam said: “We are aware of recent history and there’s a lot of players here who haven’t been a part of a winning team, just a couple who have.

lam-quote-SF-edit-1024x579.jpg

“It was one of the competitions I looked up to as a boy in Australia and one I always wanted to be a part of it as a player.

“That was the reason I signed with Wigan as a player initially. Now I’m in the coaching position we’ve got another chance at it.”

On the opposition, the Head Coach said: “They are an aggressive side and they’ve got some great individuals who, if you allow them to play, can beat teams by big scores.

“We feel that we’ve trained well and prepared well. There’s some senior players added to the squad who will certainly give us a lift.”

Match Officials

The man in the middle on Friday will be Chris Kendall. The video referee is Ben Thaler.

AM30535-1024x712.jpgChris Kendall.

How to Follow

The Listen Live feature will be available from the home page on www.wiganwarriors.com.

The live commentary function will give fans free match commentary from Joe Mills of the full 80 minutes.

BILKO-AND-JOE-EDIT-1024x678.jpgJoe Mills (right).

In addition, the game will be broadcast live on BBC One.

Furthermore, Wigan fans can follow every piece of the action via our social media channels and website.

  • Twitter (@WiganWarriorsRL) – live game updates and reaction at the final hooter.
  • Instagram (@wiganwarriorsrl) – live behind-the-scenes action, both before and after kick-off.
  • Facebook (Wigan Warriors) – live matchday information.
  • Website (www.wiganwarriors.com) – post-match reaction including match report, and Head Coach and players reaction.

Wigan TV

Matches will continue to be available – as usual – on Wigan TV, with highlights, extended highlights and full match replays available after the relevant holdback times. There will also be post-match interviews available to watch.

If you’re not already a subscriber to Wigan TV, click HERE today to join. Choose a monthly (£5.99), quarterly (£11.99) or annual (£38.99) subscription with no contract. Pay with PayPal or credit/debit card.

Other Fixtures

Saturday 3rd October – Coral Challenge Cup Semi Finals

  • Leeds Rhinos vs Wigan Warriors (2:30pm)
  • Salford Red Devils vs Warrington Wolves (5pm)

Sunday 4th October – Betfred Super League

  • Catalans Dragons vs Wakefield Trinity (2pm)
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The post Challenge Cup SF preview: Leeds Rhinos appeared first on Wigan Warriors Blog.

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