Shaun Wane, the Wigan coach, has warned his team that they must raise their game if they want to win a record 20th Challenge Cup when they face Hull in next month’s final at Wembley.
On Sunday Wigan defeated Salford 27-14 to reach the final. The game saw Oliver Gildart score two tries for Wigan and Sam Tomkins play outstandingly for the team.
Speaking after the victory Wane said, “To get back to Wembley is fantastic, but we have got there and that is it, there is another job to do”.
Last season the team won the Super League title but they lost in the Challenge Cup semi-finals to Hull. Hull went on to win the Cup last season and last weekend they defeated Leeds 43-24 to earn their place in the final.
Wane was pleased with his team’s performance saying, “This feels fantastic compared to last year, last year was tough to take”. But he also said the team will need to improve on their semi-final performance if they are to defeat Hull.
The semi-final saw the team lose both Sam Tomkins and Anthony Gelling to yellow cards and Wane said that it is unacceptable for the team to have to play 20 minutes with 12 men.
The final is likely to produce some mixed loyalties in the Leuluai household as Thomas’ dad James played for Hull FC and even scored two tries against Wigan in the 1985 Challenge Cup Final. However, Leulaui Jr, is very clear on his allegiance.
He said, “The old man played for Hull back in the day and I grew up there as a young fella, I can’t remember much about it but my sister was born up there so both clubs are a big part of our family. But I am here for Wigan and looking forward to going there and playing Hull.”