Rugby League legend Alex Murphy has thrown his support behind his former club Warrington Wolves to win a third consecutive Carnegie Challenge Cup as they begin their defence with a fourth round tie against Keighley Cougars at the Halliwell Jones Stadium on Sunday (3.00).
The former Lance Todd Trophy winner has captained three different teams to Challenge Cup success and knows what an incredible achievement a hat-trick of wins would be for theWolves.
“A Cup hat-trick would be a tremendous achievement,” said the former Warrington half-back. “Three wins on the bounce is very good but a hat-trick at Wembley is extremely special and would look fantastic in Warrington’s record book. The club and town would be overjoyed and things at the club should go from strength to strength.”
Although the Wolves have won the past two Carnegie Challenge Cup finals at Wembley, Murphy maintains that their past success will be no advantage in the present competition.
“Every match in the Challenge Cup depends solely on that particular day,” said Murphy.
“There are no second chances in the Challenge Cup. It all depends on how you perform on the day, who you get in the draw, how the injury system pans out and home advantage is very welcome.
“It does not matter where you are in the league table; with the Challenge Cup it is playing your best for 80 minutes in each round to achieve the ultimate goal at the most famous stadium in the world.
“You can’t get anything bigger or better than Wembley. The Challenge Cup to any player is the best experience in the world.”
The experienced Wembley finalist knows the pressure to expect from the knock-out competition but highlights the significance and value of competing in a Challenge Cup final.
“All the wins are special to me,” said the former St Helens, Leigh and Warrington player. “I have great pride in the win in 1971 as player-coach with Leigh. We played against Leeds who were strong favourites but I believed in the team and we proved everybody wrong.
“My first win was with St Helens against the old enemy Wigan which was so exciting. Walking out from the tunnel to be met with the cheers of over 90,000 people was wonderful but then I managed to switch the sound off to concentrate on the game in hand.
“It is an unreal experience to play at Wembley and plenty of motivation for players in the Challenge Cup.”
Tickets for the Carnegie Challenge Cup fourth round tiebetween Warrington Wolves and Keighley Cougars at the Halliwell Jones Stadium cost from £10 adult and £5 concessions and can be purchased on 0871 6221879. Warrington season ticket holders can gain free entry.
Tickets for the 2011 Carnegie Challenge Cup final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday August 27 costs from £21 to £76 and are selling fast. Last year’s final was a sell-out and fans are advised to move quickly to secure their seat at the historic showpiece final. To book tickets call 0844 856 1113