Sunday’s Challenge Cup semi-final sees Salford and Wigan battle it out for a place at Wembley. Here are three key battles that could decid the contest.
Rob Lui v George Williams
There’s little doubting the influence of the two halfbacks for their respective teams. Williams has proven at a young age he can perform on the big stage, while for Lui the match provides him the biggest platform yet to prove his talent.
Whoever performs the best could be key.
Manu Vatuvei v Joe Burgess
Talk about being thrown in at the deep end.
Manu Vatuvei couldn’t have asked for a bigger game to start his Salford career. But not only does the Kiwi have to deal with the demands of cup rugby, he will have to try and out-perform an international winger in Joe Burgess.
Hull’s victory over Leeds proved how pivotal the battle of the wingers can be. For Vatuvei, there can be no feeling in process.
Ben Murdoch-Masila v John Bateman
The two back-rowers have completely different styles, and seeing them battle will be fascinating.
The chances are that both will play on their side’s right edge, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that it will be a mammoth contest.
‘Big Ben’ has been outstanding this season, while Bateman has improved with every game since returning from injury.