Wane refusing to dream... yet
Shaun Wane is refusing to dream about a Wembley return after Wigan were drawn against Castleford in the quarter-finals.
Their reward for yesterday’s comprehensive 54-4 victory at Dewsbury was a home tie against the Tigers.
Ironically, Wigan met Castleford the round after they beat Dewsbury two years ago – and suffered a shock 16-4 loss.
Wane said: “The Challenge Cup is an important competition for us, it means a lot to me and we all want to get to Wembley.
“But we’re not thinking that far ahead. We know we’ve got at least one big test – hopefully two – so we’ll not be getting carried away.”
Hull FC – Wigan’s opponents this Friday – will be at home to Catalans Dragons after crushing St Helens yesterday. Warrington take on Widnes while Huddersfield face Wakefield, with ties to be played on the weekend of June 25-26.
Wane will inevitably expect a fiercer challenge than that provided by Championship outfit Dewsbury.
The Warriors ran in 10 tries – five of those in the opening quarter – to cruise into the next round, Josh Charnley finishing with a personal haul of 22 points.
The final quarter of the game was scoreless though Wane rested key players George Williams, Sam Powell and Sean O’Loughlin.
If someone had offered me that scoreline I would have taken it,” he said. “It’s not the easiest place to come, it’s a tight pitch, so I’m happy to score the number of points we did.
“Everyone did some good things.
“I don’t want to kill the mood but we could have been smarter in the final quarter, but I made a lot of changes. No disrepsect to Dewsbury but the game was won, it was sensible to do the right thing and manage the game-time of some of my players.”
Sean O’Loughlin emerged unscathed from his comeback and Wane says up to five other senior players may return this week.
Tony Clubb is available again after suspension, Joel Tomkins, Liam Farrell and Ben Flower could feature and the match will also mark the comeback of No.1 Sam Tomkins.
“It’s nice to be able to be in a position to pick the side, I’ve finally got some competition for places and that’s what we need,” added Wane.
Dewsbury coach Glenn Morrison conceded there was a difference in class between the two sides.
“They showed us respect, they played their strongest side all year,” he said.