WIDNES Vikings winger Jack Owens believes his team are prepared and ready to tackle Castleford Tigers in their Tetley’s Challenge Cup at Leigh Sports Village Stadium on Sunday (3.00pm).
Owens feels Widnes’s victory over Hull KR at the weekend did more than just put a little daylight between them and the Robins to cement their place in the Play-Offs.
“The mood in the squad at the moment is fantastic,” said Owens. “We’ll take the positives from Sunday’s game and put them towards the preparation for the semi-final. We want to kick on in the league too and jump a few more places up the ladder.
“It’s amazing for us and the town to get through to the semi-final of the competition. The Tetley’s Challenge Cup is special because it gives many teams from Super League down to compete against each other for that famous trophy.
“The tournament also has a special place in my heart because I made my debut for the Vikings against Siddal in the Challenge Cup back in May 2011. I took that opportunity with both hands and here I am now competing against world class athletes every week.
“When I was growing up me and my mates were sport mad and we would go round to each other’s houses to watch Challenge Cup finals.
"I went on a school trip to watch the 2009 Challenge Cup final and got a tour of Wembley Stadium the day before. I couldn’t believe the size of the changing rooms, definitely something we’re not used to!”
Castleford have beaten Widnes on both occasions this season but Owens is hoping it will be the Vikings who are celebrating when the final whistle blows.
“There is nothing we don’t know about the opposition on Sunday. We will be treating this like it is a normal league week,” he said.
“Castleford have a great work ethic and Marc Sneyd has been a real star for them so far. I know we are going into this as underdogs but I believe we will cause a shock at the weekend.
“It’s a full house at Leigh and the lads love listening to all the different songs our fans sing on the terraces. The Widnes fans were the loudest at Magic Weekend and will be the loudest on Sunday.
All 12,500 tickets for the Tetley’s Challenge Cup semi-final, Widnes Vikings v Castleford Tigers at Leigh Sports Village on Sunday have now been sold. Fans without tickets are advised not to travel to the game, which will be broadcast live on BBC2.
Tickets for the 2014 Tetley’s Challenge Cup final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday August 23 cost from as little as £22 and can be purchased by calling the 24-hour Rugby League Ticket Hotline on 0844 856 1113 or by visiting www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk