Wigan Warriors’ Liam Farrell admits: “I thought we had blown our Cup Finals chance!”

England’s second row helps Wigan defeat champions St Helens 20-18 in the epic semi-final at Elland Road to set up the Spurs’ meeting with the Huddersfield Giants – but only after squandering a 14-0 lead to fall behind and make the Warriors nervous

Wigan’s Liam Farrell jumps in for a shot at semi-final win over St Helens

Liam Farrell thought Wigan had “spoiled” their penchant for Challenge Cup glory – but now they’re ready to end nine years of pain.

They take on the Huddersfield Giants at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on May 28, looking to lift the famous trophy for the first time since 2013. Lethal Wigan reached the final in style by eliminating arch-rivals and holders St Helens in the thrilling Elland Road semi-final on Saturday. . Matty Peet’s team led 14-0 at half-time after beating the Super League champions with attempts from Liam Marshall, Cade Cust and Farrell.

But the Saints took the lead when Konrad Hurrell, Jonny Lomax and James Roby all scored converted attempts in ten crazy second-half minutes. Wing Marshall caught Lomax’s loose pass, however, to run 80m for his second attempt in the 69th minute, Harry Smith scoring the winning conversion. Wigan received a lesson from the Saints in the Good Friday derby, losing 22-4, so this 20-18 success was a turnaround.

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Farrell, England’s second, admitted: “In the first half I couldn’t tell you how proud I was. We were so dominant to go 14-nil against a team that has been untouchable in recent years. But in the second half I went through so many emotions. It was unbelievable.

“I was starting to think ‘we screwed up.’ But luckily for us, we have some dangerous players – and Marshy has made the headlines. It was a huge effort in terms of everyone’s energy.”

The Saints bet on England’s stalemate Lomax, who suffered a biceps injury the week before. Wigan assured they would attack him, but Farrell, 31, insisted: “Not because of his injury. It was because the last time we played against them, we gave him a lot of free ball and a lot of time on it. Today we try to get some of that out of him. We knew he was going to defend as a full-back but he was going to attack both times, so we had to try to pressure him and we probably did a decent job today.”

Wigan’s Liam Farrell kicks off celebrations after his semi-final attempt



Along with Iain Thornely, Farrell is the only survivor of the last Wigan team to lift the Cup for a record 19th time in 2013. He said: “We mention it every year. We haven’t been good enough to do it since There’s only a few left. of us.

“I tried to explain the type of preparation for the week and the emotions if you win. These are the reasons you play rugby and the best memories you have. It’s a special moment. It’s a few weeks to go, but we’ll be really excited about it.”

Wigan, who won the Cup eight years in a row from 1988 to 1995, have tried to explain to their Australian contingent of players like Cust, Jai Field and Patrick Mago what the trophy means.

They celebrated a lot at the end of the epic competition on Saturday and Farrell said: “Everyone still refers to this as going to Wembley. It’s being played at Tottenham this year, but the Aussie boys – Cade, Paddy, Jai – probably don’t know. a lot about it.

“We’ve only tried to explain the history of the club and how the ’90s team was unbeatable at times. We’re just trying to create our own history and be a part of it. This group can be a special group and go on to win one. We have the challenge ahead of us. , but they all accepted it very well and I think they understand it now. You can tell with the after-game celebrations how proud they are.”

The Giants beat Hull KR 25-4 in the next semifinal, and with the prospect of facing them, Farrell added, “Huddersfield go in every set. It’s going to be a great game.

“We know we’re going to have to go from set to set with them and compete for this energy battle. They have a great coach in Ian Watson and they have some threats.”

Saints coach Krisitan Woolf lamented: “Our defense just didn’t measure up in that first half, as it usually is.”

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