FAVOURITES Wigan will face arch-rivals St Helens in the semi-finals of the Carnegie Challenge Cup.
The record 17-time winners were rewarded for Saturday’s dramatic 44-24 win at Warrington with a tie against their old adversaries.
Saints enjoyed an easier passage to the last four with a 54-6 thrashing of Hull KR yesterday afternoon.
The other last four tie will be an all-West Yorkshire affair, with Castleford facing Leeds after their respective victories over Huddersfield and Hull yesterday.
Semi-final clashes will take place over the weekend of August 6 and 7, while the venues and days were set to be confirmed last night, with ticketing details released today
Captain Sean O’Loughlin was in the Wigan team that last played in a Challenge Cup Final in 2004. And he says the semi-final heartache in 2007 (Catalan) and 2009 (Warrington) will ensure no-one looks to Wembley just yet.
“We’ve made the semis before and not made the most of them,” he warned. “As much as you don’t like to look back, you want to use it and learn from those experiences. We’re a lot mentally stronger than we were then – individually and as a group – and we’ll be fully focussed on the job we need to do first.”
Warriors powered through to the semi-finals with a nail-biting victory at Warrington.
They roared into a 22-0 lead early on, but Warrington closed the margin to two points to set up a tense second-half, in which the visitors held their nerve to claim a memorable triumph.
“I’m pleased for the boys and the fans,” said Maguire. “We managed to get a few points on the board which helped us to control the game at the back end.”
Maguire, meanwhile, said he had no problem with Andy Coley’s tackle on David Solomona which saw the Warrington forward leave the field with a knee injury.
Wolves coach Tony Smith complained about it later, admitting: “I’m not happy. I have been warning people about those sort of tackles for a long time.”
Maguire did not think the tackle raised any issues. “No, none whatsoever,” he said.