What a weekend of Challenge Cup Semi-Finals. First the Leeds Rhinos charge all over the Wigan Warriors winning 39-28 in a pulsating encounter. This was followed by perhaps a more straightforward win for Warrington Wolves as they sent the Huddersfield Giants packing 33-6. This now gives us a final meeting between the Rhinos and Wolves at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 25 August 2012 with KO at 14:30.
Saturdays match between the Rhinos and Warriors started at a rip roaring pace as Ryan Hall opened the scoring for the Rhinos on 5 minutes with Kevin Sinfield adding the extras. they then extended their lead on 7 mins through Ben Jones-Bishop and again on 12 minutes through Zak Hardaker Sinfield converted and Rhinos were out to 16-0 and it was looking dier for the Warriors. Wigan Warriors are well known for their resiliance and although they were under the coash the fight back started on 21 minutes with George Carmont going over and then on 23 with Gareth Hook. Both tries converted by Sam Tomkins and the score was 16-12. Gareth Hook scored on 27 minutes for Leeds and then Ryan Bailey on 31 followed by Ben Jones-Bishop on 35. This took Rhinos out to 30-12 and we all thought Wigan would raise the white flag. But no the half was not over and Warriors had the last shout as they closed the gap with a Ben Flower touch down on 39 minutes followed by a final kick penalty from Tomkins to give us half-time and the score of: 30-20.
The second period and things did not quieten down much as 49 minutes and Rhinos extended out to 36-20 with a Zak Hardaker 2nd. Warriors needed to be next on the score sheet if they were to stay in touch and so it was 58 minutes and Sean O’loughlin went over 36-24. Time was not Warriors biggest threat and this was compounded on 64 minutes when Kevin Sinfield dropped a goal taking it to 37-24. Warriors still had fight in them and 73 minutes they closed the gap to 37-28 as Charnley dotted down. But the final points went to Rhinos as Sinfield slotted a penalty on 79 minutes to give us the final score of:
Leeds Rhinos 39-28 Wigan Warriors.
The contest between Warrington Wolves and Huddersfield Giants was a bit more straightforward as after an early scare on 9 minutes when Giants took the lead through a Scott Moore try converted by Danny Brough. This was as good as it got as thereafter Warrington Wolves slowly amassed points through Garreth Carvell, Ryan Atkins and Joel Monaghan to go in at the break at 18-6.
The second period and Giants needed to score if they were going to make a contest of it but it was Wolves who continued to score as they extended the lead through tries from Brett Hodgson and Ratchford. Hodgson had also kicked 13 points during the contest to give us the final score of:
Leeds v Wigan
Leeds: Hardaker; Jones-Bishop, Watkins, Ablett, Hall; Sinfield, McGuire; Leuluai, Burrow, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Delaney, Bailey.
Replacements: Lunt, Ward, Kirke, Griffin
Wigan: S. Tomkins; Charnley, Goulding, Carmont, Gelling; O’Loughlin, Finch; Lima, McIlorum, Mossop, Hansen, Hock, Tuson.
Replacements: Farrell, Lauaki, Flower, Hughes.
Referee: Ben Thaler (Wakefield)
Huddersfield v Warrington
Huddersfield: Grix; McGillvary, Cudjoe, Gilmour, Murphy; Brown, Brough; Crabtree, Moore, Mason, Fa’alogo, Ferguson, Lawrence.
Replacements: Robinson, Faiumu, Patrick, Fairbank.
Warrington: Hodgson; J. Monaghan, C. Bridge, Atkins, Riley; Briers, Ratchford; Carvell, Higham, Hill, Waterhouse, Westwood, Harrison.
Replacements: Wood, Morley, M. Monaghan, McCarthy.
Referee: Richard Silverwood (Great Britain)