Challenge Cup Preview: Warrington

Warrington boss Tony Smith is confident his Wolves side can overcome their poor form in Super League when they face Huddersfield in the Challenge Cup final.

The Wolves have only one Super League win in the last six matches – that against Salford – while last month they were defeated by the Giants.

Smith believes his side can turn things around quickly and repeat the impressive performance that brought the semi-final victory over Wigan.

“Our form hasn’t been great in the last couple of weeks,” he said.

“We haven’t been pleased with what we’ve been producing but we have had some disruption with injuries. We’ve had to put out players who are not 100%.

“Sometimes when you get form like we’ve got, it galvanises you as a team. We’ve been able to do that at times this year and turn things around quickly.”

Warrington have not reached the final since 1990 when they were defeated by Wigan, and their last victory came in 1974 when they defeated Featherstone Rovers 24-9.

Lee Briers, so influential in the Wolves’ semi-final victory, wants to ensure that Warrington lift the trophy again, and gain a winners’ medal he can call his own.

Briers was part of St Helens’ cup win of 1997, playing in the semi-final defeat of Salford, and was awarded a winners’ medal despite missing out on the trip to Wembley when Bobbie Goulding returned from suspension.

“I had three defeats in semis and I’ve got a winners’ medal but that doesn’t really count,” said Briers. “It got thrown away a long time ago. I want one for myself this time.

“It’s every boy’s dream to play at Wembley and I’m no different. This will be the highlight of my career by a country mile.

“I’m a positive person and, although I’ve had a few heartbreaks, it’s been worth waiting for. I kept trying my best to get there and obviously it’s happened now.

“But I don’t want to go there and just take part, I want to win it, as do Huddersfield. We’re going to enjoy it but you only really enjoy it if you get the winners’ medal at the end of it.”

Route to the final:

Fourth Round: Warrington 56-10 York
Fifth Round: Featherstone 8-56 Warrington
Quarter Final: Hull KR 24-25 Warrington (AET)
Semi Final: Warrington 39-26 Wigan


Against Huddersfield:

This season:
26th April: Warrington 40-18 Huddersfield
19th July: Huddersfield 28-10 Warrington

Cup finals:
1913: Huddersfield 9-5 Warrington (Headingley)
1933: Huddersfield 21-17 Warrington (Wembley)

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