Round-Up: Warrington show their cup pedigree with French win
Dave Hadfield was a schoolboy convert to rugby league, the game which, one way or another, has dominated his life ever since. After working for newspapers in Shropshire and Blackpool (where he covered the fortunes of Blackpool Borough) he travelled the world, working mainly in Hong Kong and Sydney. He became The Independent's rugby league man in 1990 and has written five books on the game and broadcast extensively for Sky and the BBC. Dave played his last game at the age of 53 and would have set up a try if anyone could have been bothered supporting his break. When not writing about the sport, he now limits himself to a bit of tick and pass with his local club, the Bolton Mets. Family includes supporters - of varying degrees of dedication - of Salford, Wigan, Sheffield Eagles and St George Illawarra.
Monday 14 May 2012
Warrington, Challenge Cup winners in 2009 and 2010, are within one match of a return to Wembley after a 32-22 victory over the Catalan Dragons in Perpignan.
The Wolves looked well in control when Brett Hodgson guided them to a 20-6 half-time lead, but tries from Michael Simon, Ben Fisher and Vincent Duport brought the French within range. Chris Bridge's interception try, however, ended their fightback.
The cup holders, Wigan, beat their great rivals, St Helens, with surprising comfort on Saturday. Saints took the lead with a try from Paul Wellens, but after that it was the Wigan pack, all six of whom came through their youth-development programme, who were firmly in charge.
They won 18-4, with tries from Sam Tomkins, Sean O'Loughlin and a brilliant solo effort from their man of the match Brett Finch. It was the first time in 12 years that Saints have failed to reach the cup semi-finals.
Last year's beaten finalists, Leeds, had a resounding 60-12 win at Leigh, swiftly banishing any thoughts of the famous Wembley upset of 1971.
The Rhinos' captain Kevin Sinfield led the way with 28 points, from two tries and 10 goals from 10 attempts.
Simon Calder looks at communities fighting back against the poachers
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