Ahead of their vital Carnegie Challenge Cup semi-final clash against Catalans Dragons on Sunday August 8, Warrington Wolves hooker Michael Monaghan believes his side have to be wary of a surprise result.
After suffering a close fought 29-28 point defeat at the hands of the Dragons in round 23 of the Engage Super League, the Wolves will be looking to gain revenge on the French side when they meet at the Stobart Stadium and Monaghan is expecting the semi-final to be an equally competitive game.
“Catalans are starting to find some form at the end of the season and the result will certainly have given them some confidence.
“It would have been nice to go there and get a good win but it gives us some areas to work on and gives us a little bit of focus going into that game.
“Right from the off there have been a lot of people from the media saying we had the easy draw” said the hooker, “The game in Perpignan has probably put that to bed and shows that all the players right across the squad are going to have to play well for us to get the result we want.”
Warrington ended their long 34 year wait to regain the Challenge Cup last year and are now hoping to earn the chance to successfully defend the title, something they failed to do last time round in 1975.
With a place at Wembley at stake, Monaghan realises just how important this game is to the club.
“It was our main focus going into the season” he said. “Saints and Leeds have been there before and done it and when you do win that prize, especially after such a long wait, to be able to go back to the final and defend it would be a real honour for us.”
The Wolves won’t be taking the challenge of the Catalans lightly though. “We have a big game to go against Catalans” said Monaghan, “The focus of the whole squad is to put in your individual performances and hopefully that will culminate in a real good team performance.”
Tickets for the Carnegie Challenge Cup semi-final between Warrington Wolves and Catalans Dragons at the Stobart Stadium, Widnes, on Sunday August 8 (3.30pm), are on sale from the RFL Ticket Office on 0844 8561113 or by visiting www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk.
Tickets for the Carnegie Challenge Cup final at Wembley on Saturday August 28, are on sale from the RFL Ticket Office on 0844 8561113 or by visiting www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk.