Rugby League Challenge Cup semi-final: Warrington v Hull KR
The Challenge Cup takes centre stage as Warrington Wolves take on Hull KR in the second semi-final with Tony Smith’s overwhelming odds-on favourites with Coral at 2/7 to win.
Having dispatched of Castleford Tigers last time out 44-6 the Wolves go into this match in a confident mood. However, second-row forward Ben Westwood will miss the match for the Cheshire outfit, following his illegal shoulder charge last time out which earned him a two match ban.
Wolves owner Simon Moran is excited at the prospect of another Challenge Cup final win and likes the way the team looks.
“I think over the past four weeks the team has played really well, only losing narrowly to St Helens in the last two minutes and winning convincingly against Wigan, Wakefield and Castleford,” the majority shareholder said.
“We are bringing in players that we’ve announced – and at least one more to come ¬– but we’ve got a lot of good young players who are really helping the team as it starts to gel.
“Brad Dwyer’s been excellent (since returning from loan spell at London Broncos) and Daryl Clark’s been really firing over the last month. It’s exciting,” he continued.
“We lost the last two cup semi finals and so it’s certainly not a given but we don’t want to make it three times unlucky.”
Following Joel Monaghan’s magnificent performance last time out, which saw him score a brace, the centre is 6/1 to score first, while Gene Ormsby, who also crossed, is 9/1 in the same market.
For their opponents, having failed to finish in a top eight place, this is realistically their only chance of silverware.
Although Terry Campese is injured, the influential half back has told his teammates to concentrate on a place in the Challenge Cup final.
“My focus has been to get the boys to forget what’s happened in the last couple of weeks,” Campese told local media.
“We need them to be focused on the job at hand and put all the focus on to the weekend. We went for a team lunch on Tuesday just to try and relax the players and get everybody on the same page,” he continued.
“Albert Kelly and Maurice Blair have a lot of experience of playing in the NRL, so I haven’t had to do too much help in training in terms of game planning.”
Kelly and Blair are 13/8 and 4/1 respectively to score anytime and will be crucial to the side if they are to make the final.