Ben Currie could be forgiven for a few nerves creeping in ahead of his first Wembley final. But there’s nothing of the sort from the versatile 22-year-old, who has impressed at second-row and centre for the Warrington Wolves.
Ladbrokes News caught up with the Wire star at the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup Final press event at Doncaster Racecourse to talk comfortable wins, confidence and fulfilling a childhood dream. Over to you, Ben…
Ladbrokes News: Warrington head into the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup final in great form with six wins, one draw and just a single defeat in your last eight games. Why do you think you’re going through such a good period?
Ben Currie: We realised we had to make changes midway through this season. We’d had a difficult run, losing quite a few games in April and May – and that really affected us. We weren’t happy with ourselves, but all the lads have responded to those setbacks in the best way possible.
We’ve had to change the way we’re approaching games, both tactically and in our mindset. That’s included analysing all the elements of our game on video, and realising what needed changing.
This squad has also had to dig deep to get those results. Maybe we were a bit complacent earlier in the year, but we’ve turned things around and Warrington are going well at the moment.
LN: You’re personally on good form, as well as the team overall. Who do you think will be the key men if you’re to unlock their defence and win the physical battle?
BC: It’s hard to put it down to one person. We have to produce a strong team performance because Hull FC have a threat all across the field. One player can’t win the game for us alone – we need everyone to turn up on the day, and not be overawed by the occasion or make silly mistakes.
LN: On a personal note, what does it mean to you getting to play in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup final at Wembley?
BC: For me, this is the pinnacle. It’s the biggest game of my career so far and it’s been a childhood dream for me to step out at Wembley.
I’ve been there with the [Warrington Wolves] academy side, watching the first team lift the trophy in 2012, and seeing that spurred me on to get there and lift the trophy on the big stage. I couldn’t wait for my chance to come – and I have the chance to grasp the opportunity on Saturday.
LN: Warrington produced a terrific display against Wakefield in the semi-final, winning 56-12. Do you think we saw the best of the Wolves across the field in that game?
BC: Yeah, that’s definitely the way we want to play. I certainly wouldn’t mind winning by 40-odd points at Wembley! [*Laughs*]
Hull will be a tougher test, though. They’re a big, physical team – some of their wingers are the same size as most teams’ front-rows! And they’ve managed some outstanding results this year by out-muscling teams.
But we’ve got to stand up to them, and we can do. It’s going to be a battle of two big packs and will be won in the middle. The rucks are going to be a major part of the game.
LN: Are you guys preparing for the final any differently to how you have done in the earlier rounds or for Super League fixtures?
BC: I’m not sure what Tony [Smith] has planned for us later in the week, but I can’t see our preparations changing too much.
Things like travelling down to London and staying in a hotel are different to your average game, but in terms of how we prepare for the match itself, I’m sure it’ll be similar to what we do each week. We’re looking good as a side, and there’s no reason to upset that rhythm.
LN: What’s the mood like throughout the Wire squad? Are you confident of beating Hull?
BC: We’re always confident! We know we can beat anyone if we perform at our absolute best. It’s about turning up with the right attitude and giving everything. If we do that, there’s no reason we won’t get the job done.
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