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Summary

  1. Wigan will face Hull FC in the Challenge Cup final
  2. FT: Wigan 27-14 Salford
  3. Salford fight back from 12-0 down to lead 14-12 at half-time
  4. Michael McIlorum puts Wigan back in front, Oliver Gildart's late second try seals win

Live Reporting

By Matt Newsum

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Goodbye

FT: Wigan 27-14 Salford

Wigan celebate
SWPIX.Com

Two brilliant semi-finals have brought us our 2017 Challenge Cup finalists - Hull FC and Wigan Warriors will travel to Wembley to do battle on Saturday, 26 August.

Salford and Leeds will lick their wounds, not that they have much time to do so before being pitched into the intensity of the Super 8s this week.

Don't forget you can follow all the action from the Super League and Qualifiers on the BBC - online and with BBC local radio too every week until the end of the season.

We'll be back with live text of the Challenge Cup final. See you there.

Until then, good evening.

Recap: Hull return to Wembley

FT: Hull FC 43-24 Leeds

Hull FC celebrate their Challenge Cup semi-final win over Leeds
SWPIX.COM

Let's remind ourselves of Wigan's opponents to come...

Hull FC continued their defence of the Challenge Cup by securing a return to Wembley with what eventually proved a dominant victory against Leeds Rhinos.

After a slug-for-slug first half which Hull just edged 18-12, the Airlie Birds cut loose in the second half to pull clear with a 43-24 win to keep alive hopes of back-to-back success.

Read Andrew Aloia's match report and see all 11 - yes ELEVEN - tries by clicking here.

"We will be involved in these games again"

FT: Wigan 27-14 Salford

Salford head coach Ian Watson told BBC Sport:

"It was a big effort by our boys, but these are the games players want to be involved in and we will be involved in these again.

"The more experience we can take from these games and learn from them the better, we've got to take lesson from this in the Super 8s.

"It's devastating, it's a tough loss but we will focus on what we need to do for the rest of the year."

'There are different ways of winning games'

FT: Wigan 27-14 Salford

Jon Wilkin

Former England international on BBC Two

The two teams who have made the final have played the most simplistic game-plans. Salford moved the ball and tried to be clever with the ball, but Wigan ran hard and tackled hard. There are different ways of winning games but it's good to be able to combine them.

I think it makes for really interesting viewing. The final will be really interesting and it will come down to the little efforts.

"It's a special feeling going back to Wembley"

FT: Wigan 27-14 Salford

Wigan half-back Tommy Leuluai told BBC Sport:

"It's a special feeling to get to Wembley, we've had an up and down season but we've got lot of quality and experience.

"I wanted to come back and Wigan was my first choice to play in big games like this.

"The old man played for Hull in the day and my sister was born up there. both clubs are a big part of the family but I'm here for Wigan and looking forward to playing Hull."

'Wigan's big-game players were huge'

FT: Wigan 27-14 Salford

Denis Betts

England assistant and Widnes coach, BBC Two

Salford didn't have any field position in the second half or play the ball as quickly as they did in the first to create numbers. Wigan had the edge in the second half and Salford didn't have many opportunities. The first half was a kicking masterclass from Salford, but then the rain came down.

Wigan's big-game players were huge. Joe Burgess was huge. Sam Tomkins turned up. They really committed, and the two best teams have won this weekend.

"We've got another job to do now"

FT: Wigan 27-14 Salford

Wigan head coach Shaun Wane told BBC Sport:

"This feels fantastic, last year was tough to take, Salford are a champion club but to get back to Wembley is fantastic.

"We've another job to do now. We did 20 minutes with 12 men, it's unacceptable and we'll fix it but we'll enjoy it and get ready for Leeds now.

"Salford made it a great game in testing conditions, it shows you what a great game rugby league is."

'This game was symbolic for Sam Tomkins'

FT: Wigan 27-14 Salford

Jon Wilkin

Former England international on BBC Two

For me, picking a man of the match was difficult. McIlorum's effort and intent was insane. Wigan had so many leaders on the field and they'll be leading the chants in the dressing room now. For me, though, the game was symbolic for Sam Tomkins because it signaled his full return to fitness.

If there were any doubts over him, they were that injury had worn down his athletic ability. That wasn't the case at all today. And defensively, he was organising everyone, getting them moving. Players like that are valuable assets.

1985 and all that

FT: Wigan 27-14 Salford

Wigan Hull 1985
Empics

Wigan versus Hull FC has been both a sublime and ridiculous final. 1985 was the former while 2013 certainly lived up to the latter. 1959 was just normal - albeit one-sided in favour of Wigan.

1985's contest was as good as any played before. Parramatta champions Brett Kenny and Peter Sterling, teammates in Australia and for the national team, were on opposite sides of the divide.

Then there were players like John 'Chicka' Ferguson for Wigan and Hull's Kiwi ensemble of Gary Kemble, James Leuluai and Dane O'Hara, and high-quality Brits like Shaun Edwards, Steve 'Knocker' Norton and Henderson Gill.

The classes of 2017 will have to go some way to matching it. If these semis are anything to go by, we need not worry.

'Wigan went up another level'

FT: Wigan 27-14 Salford

Denis Betts

England assistant and Widnes coach, BBC Two

Salford just wanted to ease themselves back into that game and get some rhythm going. They had no territory, no field position and no ball. Wigan went up another level.

'It was a fantastic spectacle'

FT: Wigan 27-14 Salford

Denis Betts

England assistant and Widnes coach, BBC Two

Wigan ran hard, tackled hard and that's what they do. They compete in every single play. They scramble well and they have a desire to win. It was a fantastic spectacle.

To be involved in these two games would have been fantastic - the teams have delivered a fantastic product. I wish I could have been involved.

Full time

Wigan 27-14 Salford

Wigan book a Challenge Cup final rematch with Hull FC at Wembley on 26 August - their conquerors in last year's semi-finals and the side they faced on their last visit to the stadium in 2013.

Shaun Wane's side are off to the national stadium. For Salford, they played their part but it was not to be and the wait for Wembley goes on.

Fantastic game.

TRY Wigan 27-14 Salford

OIiver Gildart, con George Williams

Wigan score a game-clinching try on the back of a scrum-base move and it's Oliver Gildart who opened and now finishes the scoring as the hooter goes in back-play.

Crowning glory for the young centre.

Gildart try puts gloss on Wigan victory

Wigan 21-14 Salford

Jon Wilkin

Former England international on BBC Two

Sam Tomkins has been a threat with the ball but he's had a tough year. He had a significant injury to his leg, but he's come back in and been the link today. He's organised Wigan's defensive line and has got his numbers just right.

Wigan 21-14 Salford

Final chance slips away for Salford as Manu Vatuvei spills close to his own line.

Wigan fans sing of Wembley. Game over.

SIxty seconds to the hooter.

Wigan 21-14 Salford

Joe Burgess plucks a horribly-wicked kick from Michael Dobson out of the sky and Wigan's fans cheer.

Wigan clear their lines with a smart set.

Wigan full-back Sam Tomkins the BBC TV man of the match. Less than two to go.

Wigan 21-14 Salford

I think that was the moment where Wigan booked their Wembley date on 26 August.

Salford sliding from left to right and Michael Dobson's pass went to ground. Willie Isa dives on it. Salford exhale in frustration. Three to go.

Wigan 21-14 Salford

Wigan back-rower John Bateman comes off worse in an aerial challenge with Salford's Manu Vatuvei.

Salford get the ball and then a penalty. Their hopes fade with every second but they are still in this. Just.

Wigan 21-14 Salford

Salford's frustrations boil over and a high tackle by George Griffin on Ryan Sutton brings about the penalty.

Wigan club the ball to touch. Penalty short of their own 40. FIVE. TO. GO. Wigan dreaming of Wembley.

Wigan 21-14 Salford

Wigan survive! Todd Carney is forced off to receive treatment and a head injury assessment. WIllie Isa smashed him, on the cusp of late but deemed legal.

Salford's move comes to an end.

Watch: Michael McIlorum puts Wigan back in the lead

Wigan 21-14 Salford

Six minutes to go and here's the reason Wigan are back in front and heading for Wembley as it stands.

He's not necessarily known for his try scoring exploits but Michael McIlorum looks like he has dealt a huge blow to Salford's Challenge cup hopes.

You can watch how he put Wigan back in the lead here...

Michael McIlorum puts Wigan back in the lead

Wigan 21-14 Salford

Wigan concede another penalty for a ball-steal right under their own posts... Salford tap it! Wigan down to 12 of course...

Wigan 21-14 Salford

Wigan self-imploding there. Knock on in the tackle. Salford scrum right in the Wigan red zone...

SIN-BIN

Wigan 21-14 Salford

Lama Tasi spills the ball off the tap - Todd Carney's kick in vain.

Meanwhile, Anthony Gelling's interference ends with him going to the sin-bin for 10. That's his game over.

Wigan 21-14 Salford

Salford scrum feed midway inside their own half. They need a play from somewhere to get field position now.

There it is! TODD CARNEY 40-20 KICK!

Wigan 21-14 Salford

Brian Noble

Ex-Great Britain coach on BBC Two

We had a lot of examples yesterday of how you can try and help the person trying to catch the ball. Loads of Wigan shirts there willing to clean it up. That's why they got the result and Salford didn't...

Wigan 21-14 Salford

Brilliant game management by Wigan. The kick downfield split the winger and full-back and had Salford battling to get out of their 10. Then a knock-on.

Wigan ball. Right in the Salford mix.

10 to go.

Wigan 21-14 Salford

I get fed up sometimes of people saying the magic has gone out of the Challenge Cup. Try telling the four teams involved this weekend... this has been a corker.

Wigan again holding out Salford in and around their 10 metre line.

The sentimentals (and Saints fans) among you might be wishing for a Salford win, imagine waiting 48 years for a return to Wembley? For Wigan it's a mere four seasons.

Wigan 21-14 Salford

Jon Wilkin

Former England international on BBC Two

That was a smart piece of play by Sam Tomkins. He was stood quite shallow, actually, but he made the right decision.

It's a big ask for Salford to come back now. Their season has been building for this.

DROP-GOAL Wigan 21-14 Salford

Sam Tomkins

Sam Tomkins just makes it a two score lead with a one-pointer. Rain really thrashing down now. Ugh...

Watch: Joe Burgess denied try by video referee

Wigan 20-14 Salford

Wigan are back in the lead, but earlier in the half they had a try disallowed by video referee James Child.

You can watch the incident below and decide for yourself if it was the correct decision...

Joe Burgess denied try by video referee

Wigan 20-14 Salford

Shaun Wane and Ian Watson are a picture of anxiety in the stands. This game is gruelling for a coach.

Wigan now have the advantage as the conditions worsen but Manu Vatuvei was in the right place when he gathered in a kick before in goal.

Then a knock on as Salford turn over in midfield. Frustrations abound.

TRY Wigan 20-14 Salford

Michael McIlorum, con George Williams

Stunning piece of skill by Wigan. Joe Burgess took a looping pass to left from George Williams, and then chipped a kick back in field.

Michael McIlorum had velcro-like hands to grip the slippery pill and ground it. Sublime move by Wigan. They lead again. How much of a knock-out blow is that?

Michael McIlorum puts Wigan back in the lead

TRY REVIEW

Wigan 14-14 Salford

Wigan get a ball down to Joe Burgess who hacks back in field.

Michael McIlorum gathers... is it a try?

Wigan 14-14 Salford

Michael Dobson's boot lets him down this time as his kick into the Wigan in-goal slides out for a tap on the 20.

Wigan right back at Salford in keeping with the game so far... up to the hour....

Wigan 14-14 Salford

Barely have time to write an entry here before something else happens. Such an end to end game.

Sam Tomkins put Joe Burgess away but Greg Johnson slides him into touch on a rapidly sodden turf.

MISSED PENALTY

Wigan 14-14 Salford

OUCH. George Williams misses from the tee. No good.

Wigan get the ball back off the 20 drop out.

Wigan 14-14 Salford

Crucial ankle tap to stop Sam Tomkins as he looked to get away. He looks menacing breaking from deep - twice now he's sliced through a gap.

Head knock on Taulima Tautai from Lama Tasi's arm. That'll ring for a while. Incident placed on report while Tautai is assessed.

Wigan to take a shot at goal.

PENALTY Wigan 14-14 Salford

George Williams

George Williams
Rex Features

Having won the penalty, George Williams steps up to slot one from in front of the posts. Takes it. Level. All square. Big finish to come.

Wigan 12-14 Salford

How much longer can we keep up this pace? Both sides are rattling through sets and surely that will tell on big forwards.

Now George Williams is stripped of the ball, Wigan will take two from the tee off that penalty to level.