The all-time Challenge Cup semi-final record of all this year’s final four

Aaron Bower

Hull KR, Wigan Warriors, Huddersfield Giants and Warrington Wolves stand on the brink of the Challenge Cup final.

This year’s final four know victory this weekend will guarantee them a place at Wembley in three weeks, and a place in one of the biggest occasions in the sporting calendar.

But going all the way back to the sport’s foundation in 1895, how does the quartet’s record at this stage of the competition stack up against the opposition? Here’s the all-time record for each of this year’s semi-finalists when it gets to the business end of the Challenge Cup.

Wigan Warriors: reached semis 47 times
Won: 33, Lost: 16, Drawn: 3

Iain Thornley
Iain Thornley hugs Patrick Mago following Wigan Warriors’ 2022 Challenge Cup triumph – Alamy

The Kings of the Challenge Cup have won more semi-finals than any other team in the sport’s history – by a fair margin, with Leeds Rhinos the next best on 26 victories in the last four.

No side has bettered their 47 appearances at this stage of the competition, either. Their first appearance in the semi-finals was in 1909 and since then, particularly in more recent generations, they have become synonymous with success in the competition. Two of their semi-finals were two-legged affairs during the Second World War: in 1942 and 1944.

Of course, eight of their 33 semi-final wins came in that incredible run during the 1980s and 1990s when they didn’t just reach Wembley, they won there every single year between 1988 and 1995.

This will be the Warriors‘ 14th semi-final appearance of the 21st century.

READ NEXT: An incredible combined XIII of Wigan Warriors & Hull KR stars

Warrington Wolves: reached semis 39 times
Won: 19, Lost: 20, Drawn: 2

Daryl Clark, 2019
Then-Warrington Wolves ace Daryl Clark holds the Challenge Cup trophy & Lance Todd Trophy following their victory against St Helens at Wembley in 2019

The Wolves are also lining up in the semis for the 40th time – though they have a much less enviable record than Wigan, and are aiming to reach the final for a 20th occasion this time around. They have also drawn two semi-finals, but this is the 40th different year the Wire have got this far.

They were the first of this year’s semi-finalists to make the final four, when they got there all the way back in the first edition of the cup in 1897. Perhaps encouragingly, they are also defending an unbeaten streak in the cup against this year’s opponents, Huddersfield, since pre-World War Two. Warrington haven’t lost a cup tie to the Giants since 1933!

The modern era has seen Warrington enjoy huge success in the competition: this will be their 11th semi-final since 2010.

Huddersfield Giants: reached semis 21 times
Won: 11, Lost: 11, Drawn: 1

Chris McQueen Huddersfield Giants PA
Chris McQueen won the Lance Todd Trophy in the 2022 Challenge Cup final

Huddersfield didn’t reach a semi-final until 1913 for the very first time, and this weekend will be the 22nd different year they have reached the final four (they have one draw to their name along with their 11 wins and 11 defeats). One of their semi-final appearances was a two-legged affair in 1945: which they won 10-9 on aggregate against Halifax.

As mentioned, they are looking to end a run of over 90 years without a cup win against Warrington – but they have only met once at the semi-final stage before, in 2012.

READ NEXT: The 7 most incredible, unforgettable Challenge Cup semi-finals in the modern era

Hull KR: reached semis 16 times
Won: 8, Lost: 8, Drawn 2

Rovers first reached the semi-finals of the cup in 1905, but went a lengthy period without getting to the last four during the first half of the 20th century.

One of Rovers’ semi-final appearances saw them play the same team THREE times in 1963-64: they drew with Oldham, before the replay was abandoned due to bad light, with Oldham winning 17-14. In the third attempt, Rovers won 12-2 to progress to Wembley, where they were beaten by Widnes.

In recent years, they have enjoyed much more success – and of course, one of their eight Challenge Cup semi-final wins includes last year’s unforgettable victory against Wigan Warriors.

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