Challenge Cup 2013: Biggest Talents Remaining in the Competition
With only one place left in the competition’s final, the Challenge Cup is set to be whittled down to two of the best clubs in world rugby league.
Star-studded Wigan Warriors have already booked their spot at Wembley Stadium but will welcome either Warrington Wolves or Hull FC as their opponents, with the former currently favourites to do so.
Who has the most talented squad overall?
In terms of recent credentials, Warrington vs. Wigan would be the more glamorous matchup by all means. Although that’s not to say Hull FC haven’t got their gems as well, it doesn’t help the club that players such as Ben Crooks and Richard Horne are sidelined through injury.
As a result, it’s the superb talents of Warrington and Wigan who make up our shortlist of the biggest talents left in the tournament, all of whom are hoping not just for Challenge Cup glory, but a 2013 Super League title as well.
The cog that makes things whir in the Warrington Wolves’ back line, things would have undoubtedly gone far less smoothly for Tony Smith’s side were it not for the indomitable presence of Richie Myler.
The 23-year-old scrum-half has exchanged passing duties with Stefan Ratchford for the majority of this campaign but has arguably done more with his time on the pitch, delivering fastball time and again.
As a result, the likes of Joel Monaghan, Lee Briers, Brett Hodgson and (injured) Ryan Atkins see as much of the ball as possible.
Without Myler, those names may not be lit up as often as they’ve proven to be in recent months.
Constantly toing and froing with teammate Sam Tomkins for top try scorer credentials this campaign, Josh Charnley is arguably the hardest talent to cage in rugby league right now.
An athlete in the truest sense of the term, the 22-year-old shows massive hunger for the game and has scored over 25 tries this season, regularly conjuring something out of what seems like thin air.
Equipped with not just a safe pair of hands but blistering pace and a wonderful step, if there’s space in front of Josh Charnley, he’s sure to exploit it.
The Wire’s Mister Reliable at some crucial points this season, much of Warrington’s semi-final victory over Huddersfield was thanks to this Exile.
In two years of playing in England, Monaghan has accumulated a ratio of almost a try every game, something only a select few rugby league figures can boast of.
If Warrington are to have any hope of overcoming not just Hull FC, but also Wigan Warriors, Tony Smith will need to be able to count on his star back in all aspects of play.
As his Wigan career winds down to its close, there’s nothing Pat Richards would like more to do than sign off his Warriors tenure with a Super League/Challenge Cup double.
Sportsbet took the courtesy of highlighting just how good the Southern Hemisphere player can be via Twitter:
The New Zealand native has agreed on a deal to play for Wests Tigers as of 2014, per BBC Sport, for family reasons.
However, as top overall points scorer in the 2013 Super League campaign, Richards holds the key to unlocking whatever defence it is that lies ahead of his current team when it goes to Wembley, whether it’s from his boots or hands.
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