Wigan Warriors boss Adrian Lam says cup final clash is difficult to judge

Warriors head coach Adrian Lam
Warriors head coach Adrian Lam

Adrian Lam reckons this weekend’s Challenge Cup final is so tight to call it could come down to the bounce of a ball.

Most experts have League Leaders’ Shield winners St Helens as easy winners, with Warrington having gone badly off the boil in recent weeks.

But Lam, whose Wigan side easily beat the Wolves 20-6 at the DW last weekend, believes Steve Price’s men have it in them to lift the cup.

“I’d like to think it’s a 50-50 game at the moment,” the Warriors coach said.

“I just remember from my own experience, St Helens were red-hot favourites in 2002 (at Murrayfield) and we managed to get the win.

“I’d like to think Warrington have a chance, as we had back then.

“But anything can happen in a cup final on the day.

“You only have to look at when Wigan lost to Sheffield Eagles in 1998...it was one of the biggest upsets ever.

“As much as form is one thing, if a team turns up 
and gives it a go, any team can win.”

Lam has welcomed the week off ahead of the final three rounds of Super League, with his side nursing a few bumps and bruises.

But he won’t be taking the opportunity of a trip to Wembley.

“I won’t go to that,” he added. “I just hope they bash each other!”

Meanwhile, fans at Saturday’s Challenge Cup final will remember Archie Bruce with a minute’s applause.

The 20-year-old half-back was found dead in his hotel room last Sunday morning, just hours after making his debut for Batley in their Championship match against Toulouse.

Clubs held a minute’s silence before matches last Sunday and the player will be remembered with a minute’s applause before the final between St Helens and Warrington before the crowd are invited to join in singing the traditional anthem, Abide with Me.

Bruce, a player with Dewsbury Moor, had been training with the Bulldogs for the 2019 season with a view to him playing in 2020 but, due to his energy and enthusiasm, head coach Matt Diskin handed him a first professional outing against Toulouse.

Batley director John Miller said he played the final 30 minutes of the game as a substitute and made a big impact with a series of darting runs, while his excitement was clear for all to see post match.

A just giving page set up by the RFL Benevolent Fund to leave a lasting legacy in Archie’s name and benefit charities and causes he and his family support has so far raised over £7,000.