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2002 Match Preview: St Helens (Challenge Cup Final)
Match Preview: Challenge Cup Final Match Preview Posted on Friday, April 26 2002 @ 07:15:43 BST


Wigan come into the Challenge Cup Final hoping the can emulate what Bradford did at Murrayfield in the 2000 Challenge Cup Final.

That year they beat then Challenge Cup holders Leeds and ended a run of big-match disappointments. Surely it's our turn to do the same?

St Helens v Wigan Warriors
2002 Kellogg's Nutri-Grain Challenge Cup Final at Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
Saturday 27th April 2002 K.O 2:45PM

Well I don't know about you but I can't wait for Saturday. The Challenge Cup certainly hasn't lost it's buzz since leaving Wembley. Not in my eyes anyway.

The more and more St Helens get built up by the press, the more and more I feel we'll win on Saturday. That sounds strange, I know, but I just feel it's our turn for some glory. I will say this though if we don't win any silverware this year I feel a clear out is needed at the club. But that's for another time, let's keep positive! :)

Key to success on Saturday is to have no player having a poor game. You can't afford to have any player playing poorly against St Helens or else they will punish you. Julian O'Neill needs to repeat the job he did on Tommy Martyn during the 19-0 defeat at Knowsley Road on Easter Monday. He marked him out the game till he came off injured and it was no coincidence that when he did come off, Tommy have room to basically win the game for them.

Another interesting battle will be veterans Gary Connolly and Paul Newlove in the centres. Both players are great but Newlove has never done a thing against Connolly so I expect Connolly to edge that battle.

Another key to victory for me is the Captain Andy Farrell. He needs a top game. If he isn't firing, Wigan don't fire simple as that. I hope he has one of those games where everything goes right for him.

Team News

Wigan - Probable team: Kris Radlinski, Brett Dallas, Jamie Ainscough, Gary Connolly, Paul Johnson, Julian O' Neill, Adrian Lam, Terry O' Connor, Terry Newton, Craig Smith, Mick Cassidy, David Furner, Andrew Farrell.
Subs (from): Sean O' Loughlin, Brian Carney, David Hodgson, Mark Smith, Stephen Wild, Ricky Bibey

Full back Kris Radlinski is still a doubt though while prop Harvey Howard is definitely out.

St Helens - Paul Wellens, Darren Albert, Martin Gleeson, Paul Newlove, Anthony Stewart, Tommy Martyn, Sean Long, Darren Britt, Keiron Cunningham, Peter Shiels, Chris Joynt (capt), Tim Jonkers, Paul Sculthorpe.
Subs: Sean Hoppe, John Stankevitch, Mick Higham, Barry Ward

John Stankevitch (knee) and Mick Higham (ankle), who are both on the bench, will be given until the morning of the match to prove their fitness. Millward has placed Dywane West and forwards Mark Edmondson and Sonny Nickle on standby.

Previous Challenge Cup Meetings

1896-97 (3) St Helens 11 v Wigan 0
1928-29 (3) St Helens 2 v Wigan 2
Replay Wigan 25 v St Helens 5
1929-30 (SF) St Helens 5 v Wigan 5 (At Swinton)
Replay St Helens 22 v Wigan 10 (At Leigh)
1960-61 (F) St Helens 12 v Wigan 6 (At Wembley)
1964-65 (2) Wigan 7 v St Helens 2
1965-66 (F) St Helens 21 v Wigan 2 (At Wembley)
1972-73 (2) Wigan 15 v St Helens 2
1976-77 (2) Wigan 4 v St Helens 9
1981-82 (1) St Helens 12 v Wigan 20
1983-84 (3) St Helens 7 v Wigan 16
1985-86 (2) Wigan 24 v St Helens 14
1988-89 (F) Wigan 27 v St Helens 0 (At Wembley) :)
1989-90 (SF) Wigan 20 v St Helens 14 (At Man U FC)
1990-91 (F) Wigan 13 v St Helens 8 (At Wembley)
1991-92 (3) St Helens 6 v Wigan 13
1992-93 (2) Wigan 23 v St Helens 3
1994-95 (4) Wigan 16 v St Helens 16
Replay St Helens 24 v Wigan 40
1997 (4) St Helens 26 v Wigan 12
1998 (6) Wigan 22 v St Helens 10
2001 (4) St Helens 22 v Wigan 8

Road to the Final

Wigan Warriors
R4 Hull 34-10 Home
R5 UTC 72-6 Away
R6 Leigh 30-16 Away
SF Castleford 20-10 At Leeds

St Helens
R4 Oldham 40-6 Away
R5 Warrington 36-14 Away
R6 Halifax 26-20 Away
SF Leeds 42-16 At Wigan

Kick Off for the Final is 2:45pm.

Referee: Mr Stuart Cummings.
Touch judges: Steve Wright (Batley), Paul Hewitt (Oldham)
Video Referee: Ray Tennant (Castleford).
Reserve referee: Karl Kirkpatrick (Warrington).
Match Commissioner: Gerry Kershaw (Easingwold)

Match Day Weather


High Temp: 9
Low Temp: 5
Winds: SW 10 to 15 mph.
Chance of rain: 60%.

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