Wigan aim to reach final in tribute to Lenagan

Wigan Warriors have won three Challenge Cup titles since Ian Lenagan took over the club in 2007
Wigan Warriors have won three Challenge Cup titles since Ian Lenagan took over the club in 2007
Venue: Headingley, Leeds Date: Sunday, 23 July Kick-off: 17:00 BST Coverage: Live coverage on BBC Two, live radio commentary on BBC local radio and live text coverage on the BBC Sport website

Wigan Warriors will be aiming to reach a second successive Challenge Cup final in tribute to outgoing owner Ian Lenagan, says boss Matt Peet.

The Cherry and Whites face Hull KR in Sunday’s semi-final with the chance to later retain their title at Wembley.

“Ian Lenagan will be remembered as one of the greatest leaders in the history of the club and rightly so,” Peet said.

Speaking to BBC Radio Manchester, he continued: “I think everyone understands how much he has committed to the club financially, obviously.

“But in terms of emotion and dedication of his, and his family’s, life, I think it would be fitting if we could get him to at least one more final and we might as well take this opportunity this week to try and do it.”

Lenagan has been in control of Warriors since buying the club from Dave Whelan in 2007.

Since taking over, the club has won four Grand Finals, three League Leaders’ Shields, three Challenge Cups and a World Club Challenge.

“There’s a lot of markers along the way with the influence he had on the education in the town and the community engagement, and obviously on the field,” Peet added.

“He’s made his mark on the game as a whole. We make the decisions that have to be the best for Wigan but he always has the bigger picture in mind and does the best for the game.”

‘The Challenge Cup means a lot to Wigan’

Wigan set up Sunday’s meeting with Hull KR by beating Warrington at the quarter-final stage in a tempestuous encounter at the DW Stadium.

The Cherry and Whites played almost the whole game a player short but still defeated the Wire after forward Kaide Ellis was dismissed in just the sixth minute for squaring up to Stefan Ratchford.

Peet led Wigan to the Challenge Cup last year at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – the 20th time the club have won the competition – in just his first season in charge.

“It’s excellent that we won it last year. It gives you a thirst for it and an appetite for it. We know what it’s all about,” he added.

“You have to aspire to be in the big games.

“The competition means a lot to the town, the club and to our owner. There is a heritage and a tradition. Whether that brings extra motivation or not I’m not sure. But it’s our story as a club and it’s one we celebrate and we have to build on that.”

‘Victory would prove Hull KR ambitions’

Hull KR head into the game off the back of a golden-point win against Leeds, which itself came after two consecutive defeats for Willie Peters’ side.

The Robins are a team in transition, according to Peters, but victory against Wigan and a place at Wembley would show that they are heading in an upward trajectory.

“If we can beat a club like Wigan to go on and play at Wembley, through everything we’ve been through and the adversity of our injuries, it would be massive,” Peters told BBC Radio Humberside.

“We need to enjoy ourselves, we need to celebrate the little wins along the way. We are in a semi-final, but every team wants to be at Wembley.

“Wigan have got their culture right, they know who they are. We’re working towards where we want to get to. We’re not there, we’re far from it.

“To go and do a job against a club like Wigan would be a huge step in the right direction for our club. Wigan get a lot of things right and we’re working towards achieving that ourselves.”

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