Macquarie Scorpions and Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles will open the inaugural NSW Challenge Cup tomorrow (Saturday, 1 April), in a flashback to the bygone era, with the Grand Final to be played as the curtain-raiser to the last Country-City match in Mudgee on 7 May.
Four 20-minute quarters, unlimited interchanges and mid-week fixtures are part of the rejuvenated Rugby League knockout tournament similar to the Amco Cup of the 1970s and 80s.
The Scorpions and Sea Eagles will join the South Newcastle Lions, Wests Devils, Helensburgh Tigers, Guildford Owls, Auburn Warriors and Concord-Burwood-Glebe Wolves in the tournament.
The remaining Round 1 matches will be played on Wednesday night (5 April) with South Newcastle taking on Concord-Burwood-Glebe, Helensburgh facing off with Guildford and Wests going head-to-head with Auburn.
Nominated teams from CRL’s strongest divisions in Illawarra and Newcastle and NSWRL’s Ron Massey Cup and Sydney Shield competitions will feature in the eight-team tournament, bringing clubs from NSW country and city regions closer together.
The winning team will receive $15,000 in prize money, while the runner-up will take home $7,000, with every team receiving prize money.
NSW Challenge Cup – Round 1
Saturday, 1 April
3pm Macquarie Scorpions v Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles (Lyall Peacock Oval, Toronto)
Wednesday, 5 April
7.30pm South Newcastle v Concord-Burwood-Glebe (Venue TBC)
7.30pm Helensburgh Tigers v Guildford Owls (McCreadie Oval, Guildford)
7.30pm Wests Devils v Auburn Warriors (Parish Park, Figtree)