Challenge Cup 4th Round Previews

After an exciting opening seven rounds, the Super League takes a break this weekend for the eagerly anticipated return of the Challenge Cup. Early front runners in the league will be looking to take their form with them into the cup, whilst teams struggling to pick up points will be hoping the cup can provide a welcomed distraction for them this year. Will Wigan be able to make it consecutive wins at Wembley come August? Will any non Super League sides go on a dream cup run? With 5 all Super League ties in the 4th round, there’s plenty of games to look forward to this weekend. Here are 5 of the stand out fixtures.

Huddersfield Giants v St Helens
With 7 wins from their opening 7 Super League games, Saints will go into this game as hot favourites. With many tipping them to do the double this year, can St Helens convert their league form into a successful cup run? Saints will be without Luke Walsh and Jon Wilkin, but welcome back Kyle Amor and Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook to their forward line. Huddersfield meanwhile are at relatively full strength and will be looking to go on a successful cup run this year after impressing in the League in the past few campaigns.

Hull FC v Salford Red Devils
Whilst Salford’s owner Dr Koukash may only have eyes on Old Trafford success this season, the Red Devils more realistic chance of silverware will come in the Challenge Cup. They begin with a difficult away trip to Hull, who will be looking to bounce back from being Cup runners up last season. Hull ran in a comfortable 30-8 victory when the two sides met in the League on Sunday, with the black and whites looking to make it 2 wins from 2 over Salford on Thursday night, although they will still be without suspended captain Gareth Ellis.

Hull KR v Warrington Wolves
These two sides have produced some thrilling contests in the cup over the years, and Sunday’s game may also go down to the wire. The Wolves have been the most successful team in the cup in recent years, winning at Wembley in 3 of the past 5 seasons. Both teams picked up impressive victories at the weekend, and will be looking to take that form with them into the cup.

Wakefield Trinity Wildcats v Leeds Rhinos
Another eagerly anticipated all super league tie sees Wakefield take on Leeds in a Yorkshire derby on Sunday. Leeds suffered their first loss of the season on Friday night, and will be looking to bounce back to winning ways over the Wildcats in the first of 2 meetings between the sides in 2 weeks. Despite making 3 of the last 4 finals, the Rhinos haven’t tasted cup success since 1999, and Brian McDermott’s men will be looking to rectify that this season. For Wakefield, it looks like they could be facing a long year struggling at the bottom of the league, so any challenge cup success will come as a welcomed distraction amongst their fans.

Halifax v Widnes
One of the teams who went up against Widnes for a Super League licensing spot in 2012 was Halifax, who’ll be looking to cause an upset when the two sides meet this weekend. Widnes will be hoping to build on their impressive start to the season, with a successful cup run a priority for them this year. They’ll have to overcome a potential banana skin in a Halifax side who sit 3rd in the Championship, and are building a team looking to compete in the 2016 Super League competition.

Full 4th Round Fixture List:
Hull FC v Salford Red Devils
Catalan Dragons v London Broncos
Dewsbury v Wigan Warriors
Sheffield v London Skolars
Batley v Castleford Tigers
Bradford Bulls v Oldham
Doncaster v Hemel Stags
Featherstone v North Wales Crusaders
Halifax v Widnes Vikings
Hull KR v Warrington Wolves
Hunslet v Workington
Keighley v Barrow
Rochdale v Leigh
Swinton v York
Wakefield Wildcats v Leeds Rhinos
Huddersfield Giants v St Helens

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