Monaghan relishing final repeat - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Monaghan relishing final repeat

By Nick Clowes 06/05/2010 11:30:10 AM Comments (0)

Former Manly hooker Michael Monaghan insists history will count for nothing when Warrington continue their English Challenge Cup defence against last year's beaten finalists Huddersfield.

Warrington were seen as the perennial underachievers in English rugby league before they scooped the Challenge Cup at Wembley last August courtesy of a 25-16 victory over the Giants.

Monaghan won the man-of-the-match Lance Todd Trophy for his starring role in the Wolves victory - but insists their 2009 achievements are just a distant memory now.

"People are making more of the fact that it's Huddersfield we are playing than they should be really," said Monaghan.

"It was a great achievement last year to win the Challenge Cup but that was last year - this is a different year and a fresh competition.

"Last year's competition will have absolutely no bearing on what happens this year - if we go out thinking that we'll beat them because we won last year, then we're going to get a big shock."

Tony Smith's men have emerged as one of the front runners in Super League this season, losing just three games all season and sit second in the table behind Wigan.

Warrington are expected to challenge for the Super League crown after failing to even reach the play-offs last term and Monaghan added: "We want to be challenging on both fronts this season, the league as well as the cup.

"The Challenge Cup win put more pressure on us to perform this year but so far everything is going to plan. I don't know how we didn't get to the play-offs last year with the squad we had."

St Helens centre Matt Gidley admits he sympathises with coach Mick Potter after he decided to leave at the end of the current season.

One-time St George full-back Potter has spent the last three years coaching in Super League with Saints and previously Catalans Dragons.

Potter cited family reasons for his desire to return Down Under at the end of the year and not renew his contract at Knowsley Road.

"Personally I can understand his decision," said ex-Newcastle Knights star Gidley, who is expected to return to the fold for the game against Harlequins after four weeks out with an Achilles injury.

"He's been away from home for quite a while, which is the same position as me. You get to the stage when you want to get back to your family and friends.

"We were a bit surprised. But it doesn't change anything from the team's point of view about what we want to achieve this year."

Challenge Cup 5th round fixtures

Friday

Bradford v Leigh, Leeds v Blackpool

Saturday

Huddersfield v Warrington, Widnes v Wigan

Sunday

Barrow v Hunslet, Crusaders v Catalans Dragons, Halifax v Batley, Harlequins v St Helens

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