Adrian Lam's in a new York state of mind

Adrian Lam believes last season's semi-final defeat to Leeds will motivate Wigan as they get their Betfred Challenge Cup campaign under way on Friday evening.

Thursday, 8th April 2021, 12:32 pm
Adrian Lam

The Warriors, bidding to end an eight-year barren run in the competition, travel to York's new LNER Community Stadium for their third-round clash against the newly-promoted Championship side.

Wigan secured the most recent of their 19 final victories against Hull in 2013 and Lam, who won the competition as a player with the club at Murrayfield in 2002, thinks last year's 26-12 last-four loss to the Rhinos is a performance his side can use as a positive.

"Probably one of my best memories of my life within rugby league," Lam said when asked what the Challenge Cup means to him.

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"We bowed out last year playing really poorly and everyone was disappointed, so there's a bit of a why for us this year."

The Warriors have begun the 2021 Super League campaign with successive victories over newly promoted Leigh, where they trailed 18-0 after 27 minutes, and Wakefield, while York suffered a disappointing 21-6 home defeat to Toulouse in their Championship opener.

However, Lam, who spoke of his admiration for Friday's opponents and city in the build-up to the tie, insists he will not take James Ford's side lightly.

"A big focus for us this week is just making sure... the word 'respect' comes to mind, for the competition, for our opposition and for ourselves," Lam added.

"We know it's going to be a tough day, I don't think many people are giving York much of a chance, which is unfair, and I think York will thrive off that.

"In regards to rugby league, it (York) is a city, a team, that's heading in the right direction and great for our sport."

York will be without former Wakefield captain Danny Kirmond for the match, but head coach Ford will be able to turn to experienced campaigners Ben Jones-Bishop, Adam Cuthbertson and Ryan Atkins to guide his injury-hit Knights.

Ford said: "It's a great honour. Wigan are famous club, famous players and I grew up watching Adrian play for Wigan so we're really excited by it and looking forward to the challenge."