Ashton Sims admits the pain of last year’s shock Challenge Cup semi-final defeat to Hull KR is still fresh in his mind as the club looks to avoid another upset this Saturday to make it back to Wembley.
Widely considered to be the favourites 12 months ago against the Robins, Warrington were beaten 26-18 at Headingley to miss out on a trip to the capital in Sims’ first year at the club.
This weekend, almost a year to the day since that defeat, Warrington are again overwhelming favourites as they again face a Chris Chester side in the final four, with Wakefield their opponents at Leigh.
And Sims told League Express that he is paying no attention to the experts ahead of the game, admitting it would be huge for both himself and the town to take Warrington back to Wembley for the first time since 2012.
“I’m not looking at what people are saying about us being favourites,” he said.
“12 months ago is still fresh in the memory for me; we got turned over by a hungrier side than us and it still hurts to this day.
“The memories of that day are still vivid but it’s a new year. We might touch on it for a bit of motivation and inspiration perhaps.
“It would be massive to get the job done this weekend.
“We’re a Rugby League town; we’ve got a phenomenal fanbase here in Warrington and our fans travel really well.
“They all get behind us and it doesn’t matter where we are and how we’re doing, they’re behind us.”
Fullback Stefan Ratchford was withdrawn midway through the first half of Warrington’s win against Huddersfield on Saturday after a head knock and didn’t return, but coach Tony Smith confirmed post-match he expects the 28-year-old to be fit for the semi-final.