SEAN O’Loughlin believes being knocked off the Wembley trail last year will provide “all the motivation we need” when they face Hull KR tonight.
Warriors’ defence of the famous trophy was ended when they were stunned 16-4 by eventual-finalists Castleford last season.
There’s always upsets and we’ve been on the receiving end of them over the past few years, so winning it and experiencing the Challenge Cup makes you want to do it all over againSean O’Loughlin
Captain O’Loughlin is determined to secure a record-extending 20th Final triumph for his hometown club – and says recent history will ensure they don’t under-estimate their opponents at Leigh Sports Village this evening.
“I think last year give us all the motivation we need,” he said.
O’Loughlin has lifted the Challenge Cup twice as Wigan captain, with the 2011 win over Leeds and 2013’s defeat of Hull FC on the club’s way to the double.
And having grown-up in an era when the trophy seemed to have permanent residence in the Central park trophy cabinet, O’Loughlin wants to make sure there is no repeat of last season’s upset.
“It’s like the fairy tale trophy at this club,” he said.
“There’s always upsets and we’ve been on the receiving end of them over the past few years, so winning it and experiencing the Challenge Cup makes you want to do it all over again.
“From being there personally with this club, going there and winning it twice was one of the best feelings ever.
“As a supporter, Wigan lads grew up going watching Wigan playing at Wembley and winning it and I personally love the Cup.”
O’Loughlin is the only member of the current Warriors squad to have experienced losing a Challenge Cup Final.
The now skipper played in the unfamiliar position of centre in the 2004 loss to St Helens at the Millennium Stadium.
“It’s a nice welcome break from the long slog of the Super League,” he said.
“The bus ride home is probably the best thing about it, I’ve been on the other side of that when not winning and it’s a tough pill to swallow.”