Wigan Warriors: Leeds United fan Zak Hardaker excited to get the opportunity to play at Elland Road in the Challenge Cup semi-finals
Zak Hardaker says he’s excited to have the opportunity to play at Elland Road in the semi-finals of the Challenge Cup.
The Leeds United fan went over for a try in Wigan Warriors’ 36-6 victory over Wakefield Trinity, as they booked their place in the final four, where they will come up against St Helens on May 7.
Hardaker was pleased with the performance from Wigan, especially in defence, against a tough opposition, who made it a far from straightforward afternoon for Matty Peet’s side.
He said: “The most important thing today was to get through to the next round. We’ve done that, and we’ll now play Saints, which will be good.
“Wakefield chucked the kitchen sink at us in the first 20 minutes, so it was important for us to deal with it and play well. I thought we defended really well, and scored some fantastic tries.
“The second half really did us good, we scored some points there, so I’m looking forward to the next round.
“I have been fortunate to play in a number of stadiums around the world but Elland Road has eluded me, so to get the chance to play there in a Challenge Cup semi-final is great.
“I try to get to Leeds United games as much as I can, but it’s normally quite difficult when we’ve played on a Friday and then have recovery on a Saturday.
“It’s hard for me to get back from Wigan to Leeds but when they were in the Championship I went to most midweek games.
“I’d love to go to a really good away-day, but my schedule doesn’t really tie in with that.”
Hardaker is friends with Leeds United captain Liam Copper, who he occasionally speaks to ahead of games.
“We just kept in contact a little bit and I wish him good luck and sometimes he wishes me good luck, so it’s just nice to have people like that giving you a good message,” he added.
“I might message him and say ‘I’m going to be playing at Elland Road, do you fancy coming to watch?’”