Willie Peters: Hull KR boss says beating Wigan Warriors in Challenge Cup semi-final would be ‘step in right direction’ for club’s culture

Ben Olawumi
Willie Peters, News Images.

Photo by Craig Thomas/News Images.

Hull KR head coach Willie Peters has stressed that his side must start coming out on top in big games in order to turn the club’s culture into one like that embraced by Sunday’s Challenge Cup semi-final opponents Wigan Warriors.

Peters spent a year with the Warriors in his own playing career, winning the Super League Leaders’ Shield in 2000 before going on to be beaten in the Grand Final by rivals St Helens.

Matt Peet’s side won the Challenge Cup last year with victory over Huddersfield Giants in the final to make extend their lead at the top of the charts as the club who have lifted the trophy the most over the years.

Willie Peters: Hull KR must win big games to turn club’s culture around

Speaking about the potential of a victory on Sunday, the Robins chief said: “It would be huge, there’s no question about that, and there’s no denying it. If we can beat a club like Wigan to go and play at Wembley given everything we’ve been through with adversity in terms of injuries and stuff like that, it would be massive.

“We need to enjoy ourselves and celebrate the little wins along the way. We are in a semi, but at the end of the day, every team wants to be at Wembley. To play a team like Wigan in the semi, if we were to do the job, it would give the club huge belief that’s for sure.

“A club like Wigan have been there and done it over many, many years. They’ve got their culture right and they know who they are. We’re working towards where we want to get to, but we’re not there yet, we’re far from it.

“To do the job against a club like Wigan would be a huge step in the right direction for our club and as we say, Wigan get a lot of things right which is what we’re working towards achieving ourselves.

“It’s a good achievement to get to a semi, but it’s certainly not where we want to be, we want to be playing in the big games.”

Peters extends praise for former club Wigan

As well as being 20-time Challenge Cup winners, the Cherry and Whites have won five Super League Grand Finals.

In comparison, KR are yet to appear at Old Trafford and have only won the Challenge Cup once, back in 1980. They have been runners up six times as losing finalists, most recently in 2015 to Leeds Rhinos who hammered them 50-0 at Wembley.

Peters praise for the Warriors continued as he added: “I’ve got a lot of respect for the club and Matty’s done a great job over the couple years he’s been there. They’ve got a quality team, and we’ve had some really entertaining games already this season.

Hopefully the spectacle [on Sunday] is similar to what the players have produced over the last two games, and there’s a healthy rivalry there after those two games going into a big one this weekend.

“One of the best years of my life was spent in Wigan. We had an exceptional team, and got beat in the Grand Final which still burns me now. There are great people there though, and the culture has been the same for many years.

“They are a club I admire as a coach, and one that will always be a top four club because they just get it right.”

Peters wants side to learn their lesson from last year’s crushing cup exit

Sydney-born Peters took the reigns at Craven Park ahead of this season, and his side currently sit sixth on the Super League ladder.

Fellow Australian Tony Smith, now at the helm of cross-city rivals Hull FC, was in charge of KR last season when the Giants side which was beaten by Wigan in the Challenge Cup final swept the Robins aside at the semi-final stage.

It’s a result and a defeat which is being used as motivation to succeed this time around. Peters said: “As a club, we weren’t happy last year with how the semi-final played out.

“There’s some players there that were disappointed in their personal performances that day, and we’ve spoken about this over the last couple of weeks.

“With where we’re at at the moment, it’s about getting your job right, doing your job first, bit always putting the team first. That’s the approach we’ll have this week.”

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