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Hoffman wants Wigan to storm into final

Craig Chisnall 05/08/2011 12:46:43 PM Comments (0)

Ryan Hoffman admits Wigan's glorious Challenge Cup history helped lure him to England and he wants to return to the Melbourne Storm with a winners medal of his own.

The Warriors reigned supreme in the competition from 1988-95 with eight wins on the trot but have lifted it just once since.

That was in 2002, when they beat this weekend's semi-final opponents and fierce rivals St Helens.

Hoffman, capped three times by Australia, confirmed last month he will return to the NRL with the Storm after just a season in England but is desperate not to go back empty-handed.

The defending Super League champions are favourites to retain their league crown as well as the Challenge Cup but Hoffman isn't getting ahead of himself.

"It would be fantastic to go and play at Wembley but no-one has been allowed to talk about that - we've got a huge game against Saints to worry about first," said Hoffman.

"They have got some big players back like Leon Pryce in recent weeks and have been one of the form teams in the country.

"We will have to be at our very best to beat them and that's all we're concentrating on - being the best we possibly can be.

"But Wigan have got such a fantastic pedigree in the Challenge Cup and winning trophies - that's one of the main reasons why I joined this great club.

"I came here to win things and I would love to think we could do it this year."

Saints have a major doubt over centre Sia Soliola, but the former Sydney Rooster insists he will put his body on the line in a bid to play.

The New Zealand international endured an injury nightmare last year but has been one of Saints' star performers this season.

He is sweating on a quad problem for Saturday's clash but said: "I'm pretty pumped for this one after what happened last season.

"It's one of those things where you look at the game you know how quickly you could be sidelined, so you've got to take your chances while they're there.

"It would be nice to get to Wembley, but that's not in our thoughts at the moment. We can't take the focus away from Wigan because they're going to be a tough task and we've got to really concentrate this week."

Meanwhile former Cronulla Shark Ryan McGoldrick believes Castleford can topple Leeds - with or without Rangi Chase.

Former St George five-eighth Chase, the Tigers' key player, has flown back to Australia to face a court appearance and it remains unclear if he will return in time for Sunday's showdown.

But McGoldrick said: "These opportunities don't come around too often and it's do or die for us whoever steps on to the field.

"No-one will give us a chance being in the last four with three huge clubs but that doesn't bother us one bit and it shows how far we've come as a club.

"We believe the cup really suits our style of play and we're a dangerous side in one-off matches. We've already caused an upset in beating Huddersfield and we believe we can do it again."

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