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Last Updated: Friday, 27 February, 2004, 20:51 GMT
Wonderful Wigan: Jason Robinson
Wigan were blessed with such talent in 1994 that there able to leave Jason Robinson out of their team for the Challenge Cup final against Leeds.

The flying winger almost missed out again a year later because of a foot injury.

But he passed a late fitness test, scored two tries in the 30-10 defeat of Leeds and won the Lance Todd Trophy.

But that high was followed by another low the following season, when Wigan's record-breaking came to an abrupt halt against fifth-round opponents Salford.

Here, Robinson recalls his Challenge Cup ups and downs:


"The Challenge Cup Final has always been the most-eagerly-awaited day in the rugby league calendar.

"And I always dreamed of playing under the Twin Towers.

"In 1993, that dream came true - and it was the atmosphere and the attention during the week leading up to the match as well as the minutes just prior to the kick off against Widnes that really got to me.

"Being waved off in Wigan by thousands of supporters wearing cherry and white hats, jerseys and dresses built up an energy rush in me and all the other players.

Jason Robinson is mobbed after scoring one of his two tries in the 1995 final
It was a memorable day, made all the more sweeter by the fact that I had come close to missing out again
Robinson on the 1995 final
"Then waiting in the tunnel at Wembley before marching onto the pitch was incredible.

"So was the noise that hit me as I left the tunnel. I had never experienced anything like it before.

"Having beaten Widnes 20-14, holding the cup aloft was something special, too. I thought it couldn't get any better than this.

"As for the match itself, the one thing I remember is Widnes half-back Bobbie Goulding catching me on the back of the head with a late tackle.

"Twelve months later, I was left out at the last minute by coach John Dorahy prior to the final against Leeds.

"But I was determined to win a place in the side the following year, when we again faced Leeds.

"I was worried that a foot injury would keep me out, but Dr Zaman, the Wigan club doctor, produced a huge needle from out of his bag and gave me a pain-killing injection.

"It worked and I will always be grateful to him.

"I was lucky enough to score two tries in the subsequent 30-10 victory over Leeds and received the Lance Todd Trophy after being voted the man of the match.

"It was a memorable day, made all the more sweeter by the fact that I had come close to missing out again.

"Being a part of Wigan's record run is something I look back on with pride, but it wasn't all smiles and success.

"I will never forget that day at the Willows in 1996 when Salford put an end to the club's 43-match unbeaten run.

"They beat us 26-16 in a fifth-round tie, bringing our success to an abrupt and sensational end.

"The defeat shocked the world of rugby league. It also shocked the Wigan players, who were in a state of disbelief when the final whistle went."





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