Tomkins looks forward to Hull of a Cup clash

Joel Tomkins is happy for Wigan to face Hull FC in the Challenge Cup semi-final.

Monday, 27th June 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 8:35 pm
Joel Tomkins

Warriors were paired with the Super League leaders for a repeat of the 2013 Wembley Final – which Wigan won 16-0 – when the draw was made on Saturday evening.

The clash will take placeat Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium on Friday, July 29 at 8pm, while Warringtonface Wakefield at Leigh Sports Village the following day.

Both ties will be screened by the BBC, and Tomkins says he didn’t have a preference as to who he’s rather have faced.

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He said: “Hull are playing really well but out of those three teams who do you pick?

“Wakefield are going really well at the minute – they’ve won more of their past 12 games than probably the other teams – and you have to beat everyone to win it. It might as well be Hull in the semis.”

Tomkins made his 200th Wigan appearance in Saturday’s 26-12 quarter-final win over Castleford, and like his coach Shaun Wane, was pleased with a dominant first half which ended with Wigan 22-0 in front.

“It was also a fast game. If you look at the GPS I think people probably ran quite a bit further than your average game and games like that do tail off towards the end,” he said.

“It was good to have Lockers for that first 20 and he steadies the ship a bit.

“We’re not far off a full squad now apart from Micky, Gells and Faz. We’re in as good a shape as we’ve been all year.”

But before Wigan can think about being 80 minutes away from Wembley – and a chance to extend their record of Challenge Cup wins to 20 - they have a tough month of Super League ahead.

They travel to Perpignan to face Catalans Dragons this weekend before facing Cup semi-finalists Wakefield at home. That’s followed by a trip to Leeds before they host arch-rivals St Helens at home on July 22.

And after last season’s 58-16 loss at Catalans, Tomkins is hoping a different approach will work this season.

“This is one of the toughest fixtures to go and get a result,” he admitted.

“Especially for us, we tend to underperform there.

“We’re doing it a bit differently this year, going on the day and hopefully that works for us.”

Former Warriors favourite Pat Richards is currently at the Dragons – and Tomkins is looking forward to facing his old team-mate.

“He’s going alright. It’s his swansong this season and he’s a good bloke,” he said.

“It’ll be good to catch up with him.”