1. ITV Report

Wigan skipper's hopes for the double

Sean O'Loughlin Photo: PA

The Warriors lost their place at the top of Super League after a derby defeat to arch-rivals St Helens last week but responded by crushing London Broncos 70-0 in their Challenge Cup semi-final.

The margin of victory was a record for a semi-final, beating the previous best set by the Warriors against Bradford in 1992, while Pat Richards' 30 points was an individual best mark in a last-four tie.

Wigan now return to Super League duty with back-to-back home games against Hull KR and new leaders Huddersfield, which could prove decisive in the race for the top spot.

O'Loughlin said: "With the position we are in in the league, and being in the final now, we should be in a strong position going into the play-offs.

"We are in a good place as a team with pretty much a full squad to choose from injury-wise.

"We are quite strong but we know a lot can change if you don't keep that momentum and keep going forward. It is important to finish the season strongly.

"We are sitting second now with Hull KR and Huddersfield in the next few weeks. If we win those two games we can put ourselves back on top."

Wigan were strong favourites against the Broncos, the Super League's bottom side, and the result was never in doubt.

Richards and Josh Charnley scored two tries each while eight other players got on the scoresheet.

O'Loughlin said: "Saints was a tough loss to take but when you have got a game coming up where you are one step away from Wembley, it looks after itself.

"It was a good game to be involved in. Obviously it was a comfortable win for us but it is great to get to Wembley and play in an atmosphere like that.

"Everyone was telling us all week it was a game we should win, and it was more about by how much, but we had to make sure we concentrated 100 per cent.

"To not let them score probably showed more mental toughness than anything."

Wigan, record 18-times winners of the competition, will now appear in the final for a 30th time next month.

Their name and cherry and white colours are synonymous with Wembley, in rugby league circles at least, but it is their footballing neighbours Wigan Athletic who have put down a marker there this year.

The Latics stunned Manchester City to win the FA Cup final in May and they will play at the national stadium again in the Community Shield on August 11, a fortnight before the Challenge Cup final.

O'Loughlin said: "It's a brilliant sporting town. For two different sides to go there in the same year it's a special thing for a town like Wigan.

"We were there a couple of years back and won. That was one of the highlights of my career.

"To get the chance to do it with a different group of lads is very exciting."