Logan Tomkins Outlines To David Clegg, The Effects Of The Forthcoming Challenge Cup Semi -Final, Against Wigan, On Family Life
The excitement of our first Challenge Cup semi-final, which we are all feeling as it starts to approach, is probably of naught in comparison with that felt by Salford Red Devils’ hooker, Logan Tomkins, because, although he already has possession of a Cup Winner’s Medal, gained with Wigan in their Wembley victory over Hull, in 2013, this coming match will see him lining up against, rather than alongside, his older brothers, Sam and Joel.
The news of the draw reached the youngest of the trio, somewhat belatedly in the day, as he had been away for the weekend, camping in the Lake District, and, with neither mobile phone signal nor television screen available, it was down to a local farmer to bring him up to date.
“To be honest, it would have been better for me had we been playing Wigan in the final, so that none of us would have been missing out on a Wembley appearance,” he divulges, “and my parents would both have liked to have seen all of us playing there.”
Once he had broken the news of the tie, his informant was also pleased to let Logan know that brother, Sam, had already given him a name check, on TV.
“I got told about being mentioned by Sam, too,” he adds, “but I try not to be involved in all the talk that goes on.
“Someone has already asked me whether I’m going to batter my brothers, but when it actually comes to the game, you don’t have time to be thinking about who is who, on the pitch. You have a job to do, and if you start to think about things like that, your moment has gone.
“It will certainly be strange in our build up, though, watching tapes of my own brothers and what they are likely to do, but during the game itself, they will be just part and parcel of what is going on.”
With a five week Super League programme, following the quarter-final, to be brought to its conclusion, the semi-final is going to be hanging over us, all throughout this time. For Logan and his elder siblings, however, it is going to intrude, somewhat, into family life.
“Normally, as players, you just think about the coming game, and no further ahead,” he explains, “but this is the gateway to Wembley, and we know that if we lose we won’t be going. Therefore, we are going to be working on certain things, week by week, in the build up to it.
“As far as Sam and Joel are concerned, I try not to talk about rugby league at all to them, as it’s easy to let slip things that are pertinent to Salford, so, whenever I see either of them we tend to talk about things outside the game, and that will be the case in the run-up to this game.”
One part of the family which will benefit from the convenience of the tie are his parents, who normally have to watch both clubs’ respective matches each weekend, or split duties between them, on occasions when they clash. There still remains, however, the choice as to which team they would want to win. Logan has his own ideas in this respect.
“I think my dad would secretly like Salford to win, after so many years as the underdog,” he confides, “ and Wigan have won it on many occasions already; too many, I think! Mum will just want each of the three of us to do well.
“The one positive thing is that they both are assured of a trip to Wembley to watch at least one son play in this year’s cup final. It’s a win – win situation for them.”
Back at home, although 14 month old daughter Orla will have little concern about any of it, Logan’s partner, Heather, will be far more interested in the outcome than either of her Wigan counterparts.
“Heather will be concerned most about the result, because I get into a bad mood whenever we lose, and this will be all the more so, being the semi-final,” he confesses.
“Joel and Sam’s will be more bothered that they haven’t picked up any injury, and that they are all right at the end.”
One thing that is certain is that only one side of the equation can make it to the final, and that, as in any contest, besides winners there are also going to be losers.
“If we lose I shall be gutted, naturally, but I shall also be happy that Sam and Joel have another chance to play at Wembley,” Logan most magnanimously concedes. “All three of us have medals – Sam and I from 2013, and Sam and Joel from the 2011 final against Leeds – so I know that they would be equally pleased for me, if Salford won.
“I really do think that once emotions have died down, everyone, even the most ardent Wigan supporters, would be happy for Salford after so many years in the wilderness. We just have to make it happen.”