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RugbyL: Wigan with quick chance of revenge over Tigers

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Wigan Warriors' defence of their Challenge Cup crown was ended last weekend in surprise fashion by Castleford Tigers - but full-back Matt Bowen does not have to wait long for a chance at revenge.

Due to a quirk of the fixture list, the Warriors and Bowen have less than a week's turnaround before the Tigers return to the DW Stadium for Friday's Super League clash.

Winners of the double in 2013, Wigan had not lost a home tie in the Challenge Cup for 28 years before last weekend and now have to content themselves with just a Super League title tilt.

Currently fourth in the table - two points behind Castleford who sit third but have played a game more - Bowen and Wigan cannot afford to lick their wounds for long.

The Tigers have been one of the surprise success stories of the 2014 season so far and former North Queensland Cowboy Bowen admits Wigan must regroup and fast or risk being shocked for the second weekend in a row.

"We are out of the cup now so we have to concentrate on what it is to come," he said. "It was disappointing and it was a long weekend to think about it.

"Castleford defended well, our last tackle options were not the best, but we are confident we can fix it to push forward.

"It would have been nice to go even further and make it to Wembley but it was not meant to be. But we have the league as something to look forward to

"I didn't know much about Castleford before I arrived but credit to them, they seem to be playing really well and good luck to them, I hope they go far in the cup.

"It keeps us to one competition to think about and we are looking forward to putting it right this time around."

Elsewhere, the out-of-form Salford Red Devils host Bradford Bulls, hoping to improve their record of only one win from Iestyn Harris' first eight games since taking over as head coach.

They have been boosted by the news of New Zealand Warriors full-back Kevin Locke's potential early arrival at the club from the NRL.

- Back Down Under -

That has meant that the Red Devils have parted company with Australians Tim Smith and Shannon McPherson to make room on their salary cap.

Smith has joined Wakefield on a season-long loan while McPherson returns Down Under with his family.

Salford have engaged immigration lawyers in an attempt to rush through the paperwork for Locke's signature and are hoping that some driving convictions will not derail their efforts.

"We've got some specialist advisers helping us through the process," said Salford Chief Executive Martin Vickers.

"The wheels are in motion and, as far as we're concerned, there shouldn't be any complications."

And finally, former Melbourne Storm forward Antonio Kaufusi has turned down the chance to stay with Bradford Bulls, where he has spent the past five weeks on loan, in order to return to parent club Huddersfield Giants.

"We are really disappointed to see Antonio go back to Huddersfield, as we would have liked to have kept hold of him until the end of the year," said Bradford head coach Francis Cummins.

"We fully appreciate Antonio's desire to fulfil his original commitments, though, and wish him all the very best for the future."

Fixtures (1900GMT unless stated)

Thursday: Leeds v Huddersfield

Friday: Hull KR v Warrington, Wakefield v London Broncos, Widnes v Hull FC, Wigan v Castleford

Saturday: Catalan Dragons v St Helens (1600GMT)

Sunday: Salford v Bradford (1400GMT)

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140610/rugbyl-wigan-quick-chance-revenge-over-tigers