Wigan Warriors player ratings as Junior Nsemba shines in Challenge Cup semi-final triumph

Drew Darbyshire
Junior Nsemba Wigan Warriors Alamy

Wigan Warriors reached the Challenge Cup final for the second time in three years as they comfortably beat Hull KR 38-6 in Doncaster.

It is the Warriors‘ 12th win in 14 games in all competitions in 2024, with Matt Peet’s side just 80 minutes away from securing their second major trophy of the season, having already clinched the World Club Challenge back in February.

Unsurprisingly given the scoreline against the Hull KR, there were a number of huge individual displays for Wigan. Here are Love Rugby League‘s player ratings for a Wigan side who are on their way to Wembley.

Jai Field – 8

A classy performance from Field at the back. He linked up well with the rest of the spine and his lethal footwork caused KR a few problems.

Abbas Miski – 8

A hard-working display from the Lebanon international, who produced a superb flying finish from Bevan French’s chip kick in the first half. His carries helped get Wigan out of trouble from deep, especially in the first half.

Adam Keighran – 7

Keighran was solid in attack and defence, and was impressive with his kicking when he took over conversion duties from Harry Smith. Keighran was sin-binned in the second half though following a melee with Hull KR centre Tom Opacic.

Jake Wardle – 8

The England international today proved why he is one of the best centres in Super League. He bagged a brace, with a try in either half.

Liam Marshall – 8

A strong performance from the Wigan winger, who provided two assists for Abbas Miski and Harry Smith. His carries out of yardage were impressive.

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Bevan French – 8

The Australian playmaker was his usual self: a livewire with the ball in hand. He came up with a brilliant chip for Miski’s first try. He’s just a joy to watch, isn’t he? A big bonus for Wigan, and Super League, that he will be a Warrior until the end of 2028 thanks to his recent contract extension.

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Harry Smith – 9

Harry Smith Wigan Warriors Alamy
Wigan Warriors star Harry Smith celebrates his try

Smith picked up the man of the match award for a commanding performance in the halves. He guided the Warriors around the park perfectly, with his in-game kicking and organisation coming to the fore.

Ethan Havard – 8

The England international impressed in his first start of the season following his recovery from a hamstring injury, having featured from the bench three times previously. He came up with a number of strong carries.

Brad O’Neill – 8

The 21-year-old has become a mainstay in Peet’s forward pack, and it’s not difficult to see why. He gets through a barrage of work in defence and his distribution out of dummy half is first-class.

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Luke Thompson – 8

What a signing Thompson has proven to be for the Warriors so far. The powerhouse prop led from the front in usual fashion: solid in both attack and defence.

Junior Nsemba – 9

Remember, remember, Junior Nsemba. The towering 19-year-old just seems to get better and better with every game that he plays. He was a constant threat on the edge, and troubled KR’s defence with his explosive carries.

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Liam Farrell – 7

Wigan’s Mr Reliable never has a bad game. Was strong on the edge and got through plenty of work in defence.

Kaide Ellis – 8

The Australian forward got a great offload away in the early stages and had a brilliant opening stint, laying the platform in the middle alongside Havard and Thompson.


Patrick Mago – 7

The Samoan powerhouse made an impact from the bench as usual, coming up with several big carries. It’s pretty rare that you see Mago get tackled to the ground.

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Kruise Leeming – 8

Leeming is really finding his feet at Wigan now, and gave a real injection when he came on from the bench. He is a different style of hooker to O’Neill, which makes them a formidable partnership when rotating.

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Tyler Dupree – 8

Similar to Mago, Dupree is known for making a big impact on the game when he comes on from the bench given his big frame. The England international also got on the scoresheet in the second half.

Sam Walters – 7

The towering forward made his long-awaited debut for Wigan after recovering from a broken collarbone he sustained during pre-season. Walters came on in the second half and put his hand up for several carries. There’s no doubt there’s more to come from him, but winning in a semi-final and going to Wembley.. What a start to his Wigan career.

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