Wigan Warriors: Five things we learned from the Challenge Cup semi-final victory against St Helens

Amos Wynn reflects on the key talking points from Wigan Warriors’ 20-18 victory over St Helens in the Challenge Cup semi-final at Elland Road.

By Amos Wynn
Sunday, 8th May 2022, 1:00 pm

1. Was the opening 40 minutes Wigan’s best half of the season?

Wigan were fantastic during the first half, as they raced into the break with a 14-0 lead.

They were energetic and inventive, which proved just too much for St Helens, who started slow.

Sign up to our Wigan Warriors newsletter

Wigan fans celebrate the victory over St Helens

After his appointment as head coach, Matty Peet promised his side would play exciting rugby, and that’s exactly what was on show from them in the opening 40 minutes at Elland Road.

In the last few weeks, the Warriors seem to be bettering themselves game after game, and it was probably their best half of rugby, especially with the calibre of the opponent.

Of course, it wasn’t the same story in the second half, but before the break it was a sensational display.

2. Resilience was required to get over the line

After a great first half, the Warriors had to dig deep after the break as St Helens came out fighting.

A series of quickfire tries saw Kristian Woolf’s side take the lead.

It could’ve been easy for the Wigan players to let their head drop, and allow the outcome of the game to become a completely different story.

They remained focused on the task in hand, knowing that the game was still there for the taking.

Although St Helens did vastly improve in the second half, there was a feeling that they were vulnerable.

Eventually a mistake came, with Liam Marshall there to pounce and change the dynamic of the game once again.

Read More

Read More
Wigan Warriors: Matty Peet says the fans are his main motivation as his side boo...

3. Marshall at the double

It was a great day for Liam Marshall in particular at Elland Road, as the winger went over for a brace.

His first try after only two minutes was a superb diving effort into the right corner and one for the fans to really enjoy.

Meanwhile, it’s his second that will be most fondly remembered for what it means.

In those kinds of situations, the 25-year-old is so reliable.

A lot of the talk is often about Jai Field and Bevan French, but Marshall is just as much of an asset.

The minute St Helens made that error, he was alert to pick up the loose ball, and once he broke free it never looked in doubt.

4. For the fans

After the match Matty Peet stated his main motivation is to produce something special for the fans.

It is clear to see that sentiment runs through the entire squad from the scenes at full time.

All the players went over to the Warriors fans to enjoy the moment with them.

From start to finish the supporters in cherry and white were once again fantastic and played their part in a big occasion.

It’s great to see that there is such a good relationship between the people in the stands and the players on the pitch.

5. A day at Tottenham awaits

The victory means a date at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on May 28 now awaits the Warriors, with Huddersfield Giants standing between them and the Challenge Cup.

It’s been a few years since the Wigan supporters have been treated to a big day out, so this will be special.

While Wembley is the usual home of the showpiece occasion, having the chance to play at a one-off venue should only add to the occasion.