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Challenge Cup: Wigan Warriors v Castleford Tigers preview
Wigan Warriors hooker Micky McIlorum insists his team are ready to take on high-flying Castleford Tigers in the quarter-final of the Tetley’s Challenge Cup at DW Stadium on Saturday.
In what is anticipated to be one of the games of the season so far, McIlorum believes that Wigan, who are in fourth place in Super League, will use the disappointment of losing to Huddersfield Giants last week as motivation to progress in the Cup.
“We are going into the game off the back of a bad result,” said McIlorum. “But we will turn that around into a positive and make sure it makes us even more determined to win on Saturday.
”Castleford beat the Warriors 36-31 earlier in the Super League season but McIlorum is hoping it will be his team who are celebrating when the whistle blows at the end of the game on Saturday.
“Castleford are obviously doing really well this season and they showed that when they got the win earlier on in the year,” said McIlorum.“I’m sure they will be up for the game but so are we, we are ready and prepared to get to the semi-final.”
McIlorum also acknowledges that there is a lot of pressure on the holders, whose history in the Challenge Cup arguably sets them apart from the rest.
“Wigan have a lot of history in the Challenge Cup and we want to win it again this year, we proved we could do the double last year and we want to that again this year,” he said. “I’ve won the Challenge Cup twice both of which have been special and I definitely want to repeat those experiences.”
In addition to McIlorum, Warriors’ head coach Shaun Wane has been able to recall Ben Flower, Dan Sarginson and England forward Liam Farrell to his 19-man squad. They replace Darrell Goulding, Scott Taylor, Sam Powell and Connor Farrell.
Third-placed Tigers are without centre Michael Channing (groin strain), who scored two tries in last week’s thrashing of Hull KR. Ashley Gibson missed out that day, but he returns to the squad, along with Lee Jewitt.
The Warriors have won the last four Cup meetings between the two sides, with Castleford's last win being as far back as the 1986 quarter-final at Central Park, when they went on to win the trophy.
Wigan: Bateman, Bowen, Burgess, Burke, Crosby, Dudson, L.Farrell, Flower, Gelling, Hampshire, Hughes, James, Manfredi, McIlorum, O'Loughlin, Sarginson, Smith, Sutton, Williams.
Castleford: Dixon, Shenton, Webster, Dorn, Sneyd, Lynch, Milner, Huby, Millington, Hauraki, Clark, Holmes, Mariano, Wheeldon, Ellis, Gibson, Clare, Finn, Jewitt.
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