Rugby League ESL Challenge Cup - News and Views

S J

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Full draw - 3

Workington Town v West Bowling
British Army v Ince Rose Bridge
Leigh Miners Rangers v Bentley
Rochdale Mayfield v North Wales Crusaders
Thornhill Trojans v Doncaster
Siddal v West Hull
Barrow Raiders v London Skolars
Hunslet v Coventry Bears
Keighley Cougars v Newcastle Thunder
Rochdale Hornets v York Acorn
West Wales Raiders v Underbank Rangers

Round dates

11-12 January: First round
25-26 January: Second round (22 first-round winners)
8-9 February: Third round (11 second-round winners, plus 11 League 1 clubs)
22-23 February: Fourth round (11 third-round winners, plus 13 English Championship clubs)
14-15 March: Fifth round (12 fourth-round winners, plus four Super League clubs - Huddersfield Giants, Hull KR, Toronto Wolfpack, Wakefield Trinity)
4-5 April: Sixth round (Eight fifth-round winners, plus the remaining eight Super League clubs)
9-10 May: Quarter-finals
6-7 June: Semi-finals

18 July: Final
 

S J

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North Wales Crusaders will feature on the BBC's Coral Challenge Cup coverage for the second consecutive year on Saturday week - determined to avoid a repeat of the shock defeat they suffered in front of the cameras at Thatto Heath last season.

The BBC have selected the Crusaders' tricky trip to Rochdale Mayfield, renowned cup battlers from the National Conference League, as the Third Round tie to be streamed on Saturday February 8, with a lunchtime kick-off.

And that will be the first of a double-header of televised matches, as it will be immediately followed by the British Army's attempt to reach the Fourth Round for the first time in their history, with their home tie against the Wigan community club Ince Rose Bridge in Aldershot to be covered by the Our League cameras.

The Mayfield-North Wales game will kick off at 12.30pm, with the Army-Ince tie following at 2.15pm.

The other nine ties will be split between Saturday and Sunday, with the Fourth Round draw, when 13 Betfred Championship clubs join the Road to Wembley, being hosted by the surprise 2019 semi finalists Halifax at the Shay on Monday February 10 - and also shown live by BBC Sport.
 

S J

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The British Army made history on Saturday as they reached the fourth round of the Coral Challenge Cup for the first time ever. They recovered from a 12-4 half-time deficit to record a 34-22 win at home to Wigan outfit Ince Rose Bridge in Aldershot. The Army did score first, but back-to-back scores from the visitors saw them lead by eight at the break. But, with wingers Jefeti Vakalalabure and Uraia Naulusala leading the resurgence with tries, they turned the tide. A quickfire double just before the hour proved to be crucial as two late tries from the Ince proved to be in vein.

Elsewhere, Watson Boas scored the winner with 78 minutes on the clock as League 1 Doncaster avoided an upset at the hands of NCL outfit Thornhill Trojans, winning 24-20 at The Tetley's Stadium in Dewsbury. The Dons trailed 14-6 at half time but quickly led 18-14 within 15 minutes of the restart. However, Nick Mitchell's converted try turned the game on its head as Thornhill led 20-18. That was an advantage they held until the dying embers as Boas' heroics sent Doncaster into round four.

Also in West Yorkshire, Siddal recorded a 10-4 win over West Hull on home turf. And in the north west, NCL big guns Leigh Miners Rangers ground out a 20-4 win over Yorkshire Men's League champions, Bentley. Six more teams will secure their place in the next round in tomorrow's fixtures, including Barrow Raiders against London Skolars live on Our League.
 

S J

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Coral Challenge Cup, Fourth Round (ties to be played on weekend of February 22-23): Rochdale Hornets or York Acorn v British Army; Whitehaven v Dewsbury Rams; North Wales Crusaders v Hunslet; Sheffield Eagles v Halifax; Workington Town or West Bowling v Doncaster; Bradford Bulls v Underbank Rangers; Featherstone Rovers v Barrow Raiders or London Skolars; London Broncos v York City Knights; Swinton Lions v Leigh Miners Rangers; Leigh Centurions v Batley Bulldogs; Siddal v Keighley Cougars or Newcastle Thunder; Widnes Vikings v Oldham.

Coral Women’s Challenge Cup, First Round (ties to be played on Sunday March 1): Durham v British Army; Wigan St Patricks v Whitley Bay Barbarians; RAF v Keighley Cougars; Nottingham v Halifax.

Byes to Second Round: Hull KR, Rochdale Hornets, Cutsyke, East Leeds.
 

S J

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Revised dates for the four outstanding Coral Challenge Cup round three ties can now be confirmed, following their postponement last Sunday due to Storm Ciara.

Keighley Cougars will entertain League 1 counterparts Newcastle Thunder on Saturday 15 February – a tie that will be streamed live on Our League from 3pm. The winners will play National Conference side Siddal in round four.

The other three fixtures will take place on Sunday 16 February, including Rochdale Hornets home game with York Acorn which has been switched to Salford’s AJ Bell Stadium as the Crown Oil Arena pitch remains unplayable. The game will kick off at 3pm and the winners will entertain the British Army. Kick off at Derwent Park, where League 1 Workington Town entertain Bradford’s West Bowling, is 2pm, while Barrow Raiders take on London Skolars in another all-League 1 clash at 3pm. The winners of these ties will play Doncaster and Featherstone respectively in round four.
 

S J

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Rochdale Hornets enjoyed a comfortable route to round four of the Coral Challenge Cup, thrashing York Acorn 54-10 thanks in no small part to a 26-point haul from Sam Freeman.

They led 30-0 at the break, courtesy of two tries - and five goals from five attempts - from Freeman, and further scores from Jamie Tracey, Lewis Sheridan and Dale Bloomfield.

Ben Calland (two), Luke Fowden and Jack Higginson touched down in the second half, with Freeman adding the extras on all four occasions as the Hornets ran riot at the AJ Bell Stadium.

Also on Sunday, Workington Town advanced with a 28-22 victory over West Bowling.

Converted first-half tries from Alex Young and Caine Barnes helped the hosts establish a 12-4 half-time advantage, Danny Halmshaw also crossing for the visitors at Derwent Park.

Second-half scores from Elliott Hall and Gabriel Fell - also both converted by Carl Forber - saw Town stretch their lead to 24-4.

Richard Lumb and Oliver Bartle reduced the arrears but Russ Bolton's 65th-minute try put the home team out of sight, with Daniel Gregory's late score - and Ben Heald's third conversion - merely consolation.

Barrow Raiders were made to work hard for a 38-18 win over London Skolars, meanwhile.

The visitors were very much in contention, trailing 14-12 at the interval and 20-18 on 62 minutes, but the Raiders surged clear in the remainder of the final quarter.

Jamie Dallimore, Danny Morrow (two), Perry Singleton, Tee Ritson, Watts Puara, Ryan Duffy all registered tries, with Dallimore adding five conversions. Charles Hammond, Jacob Thomas and Neil Thorman crossed for the Skolars, with Thorman adding three lots of extras.
 

S J

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2020 Coral Challenge Cup schedule:

14/15 March: Fifth Round (12 Fourth Round winners, plus four Betfred Super League clubs – Huddersfield Giants, Hull KR, Toronto Wolfpack, Wakefield Trinity)

4/5 April: Sixth Round (8 Fifth Round winners, plus the remaining 8 Betfred Super League clubs)

9/10 May: Quarter Finals

6 June: Semi Finals

Saturday July 18: Final – Wembley Stadium
 

S J

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Leigh Centurions booked their place in the Coral Challenge Cup Fifth Round with a convincing 36-10 win over Batley Bulldogs at the Leigh Sports Village on Friday night.

Halifax fell at the first hurdle in 2020 as they were narrowly beaten thanks to a late Oliver Davies try by current AB Sundecks 1895 Cup holders Sheffield Eagles.

Newcastle Thunder avoided a repeat of their 2016 meeting with Siddal after surviving an early scare with a 10-30 victory.

Featherstone beat Barrow. Swinton Lions booked their place in Round Five in comfortable fashion with a 56-0 victory over NCL Premier Division outfit Leigh Miners Rangers.

Sheffield Eagles, Featherstone Rovers, Newcastle Thunder and Swinton Lions join Leigh Centurions in Round Five of the Coral Challenge Cup with seven fixtures to be played Sunday 23 February.
 

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Underbank Rangers’ historic trip to Bradford Bulls is set to be broadcast on the BBC Sport website from 1pm tomorrow before London Broncos face York City Knights at 3pm.
 

S J

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Round 5 - Ties to take place 14/15 March

Toronto Wolfpack will face a tough trip to one of the early-season Super League pacesetters Huddersfield Giants when they return to the Coral Challenge Cup next month.

The Canadian club did not feature in last season’s competition, but have returned in 2020 following their promotion to the Betfred Super League – on the basis they will play all their ties away from home.

Huddersfield are the only team with a 100% winning record even at this early stage of the Super League season after claiming away victories against Catalans Dragons, Salford Red Devils and Hull KR.

The other two Super League clubs to enter the competition at this stage have both received home draws against Betfred Championship opposition with an impressive Challenge Cup pedigree – Wakefield Trinity will host their old West Yorkshire rivals Bradford Bulls, while Hull KR have home advantage against Leigh Centurions, who have already signalled their intention to launch a strong promotion challenge with four wins in as many matches in league and Cup so far.

Of the four Betfred League 1 teams remaining in the competition, Newcastle Thunder will host the winners of the Whitehaven-Dewsbury Fourth Round tie which was postponed on Sunday.

Workington Town will travel to Sheffield Eagles, the famous 1998 Challenge Cup winners who returned to Wembley last summer to claim the inaugural AB Sundecks 1895 Cup; Hunslet have a shorter trip to Featherstone Rovers; and Rochdale Hornets’ reward for their weekend win against the British Army is an away tie against York City Knights, who claimed an impressive Fourth Round win against London Broncos in the capital.

Widnes Vikings will host Swinton Lions in the only all-Championship tie of the round.

The ties will be played on the weekend of March 12-15, one of them to be streamed live by BBC Sport, and another by the RFL’s Our League app.

The eight winners will join the top eight from last season’s Super League – including Warrington Wolves, the holders – in the Sixth Round in early April, with the quarter finals following in May, the semi finals again being played as a triple header also featuring the Coral Women’s Challenge Cup Final (on June 6), and this year’s Wembley Final on a new date of Saturday July 18.

Coral Challenge Cup Fifth Round: Wakefield Trinity v Bradford Bulls, Widnes Vikings v Swinton Lions, Sheffield Eagles v Workington Town, Newcastle Thunder v Whitehaven or Dewsbury, Featherstone Rovers v Hunslet, Toronto Wolfpack v Huddersfield Giants, Hull KR v Leigh Centurions, York City Knights v Rochdale Hornets.

Fifth Round ties will be played on the weekend of 12/15 March. As in the previous two rounds, one tie will be selected for live streaming by BBC Sport, and another by the RFL’s Our League app.

2020 Coral Challenge Cup schedule

14/15 March: Fifth Round

4/5 April: Sixth Round (8 Fifth Round winners, plus the top eight from last season’s Betfred Super League)

9/10 May: Quarter Finals

6 June: Semi Finals

Saturday July 18: Final – Wembley Stadium
 

S J

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For over 120 years the Coral Challenge Cup has served up the most memorable Rugby League moments by the biggest stars in the game.

The Coral Challenge Cup Final (Sat 18 Jul) is Rugby League’s showpiece occasion at the iconic Wembley Stadium.

This event is perfect for groups: whether it’s your family, friends, colleagues or sports team, the Coral Challenge Cup Final is an amazing day out as Rugby League takes over Wembley.


1582672123482.png
 

S J

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2020 Coral Challenge Cup schedule

11-15 March: Fifth Round

4/5 April: Sixth Round (8 Fifth Round winners, plus the top eight from last season’s Betfred Super League)

9/10 May: Quarter Finals

6 June: Semi Finals (University of Bolton Stadium)

Saturday July 18: Final – Wembley Stadium
 

moto748

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I might go the semis this year, i didn't bother last year (the University of Bolton Stadium is only just down the road). Of course, if Wigan are in it, i definitely will.
 
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S J

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Toronto Wolfpack reached the Challenge Cup sixth round with a comfortable 18-0 win at Huddersfield Giants.

Ricky Leutele scored the only two tries of the tie for the Canadian side, who are bottom of Super League with six defeats from their first six matches.

A further 10 points were added from the boot of Gareth O'Brien.
 

S J

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Wakefield survived a huge scare against Championship club Bradford to reach round six of the Challenge Cup.

Bradford, who knocked out Leeds on their way to last season's quarter-finals, led 14-7 with tries from Jordan Lilley and Rowan Milnes.
 

S J

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Five more places are available for the winners of Sunday's fifth-round ties, with last season's top eight in Super League completing the line-up for Monday's sixth-round draw.
 

S J

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In the absence of live Rugby League, the BBC are delving into their archives again to show us highlights from five classic Coral Challenge Cup Finals.

The show - presented by Mark Chapman - will be aired at 2:05pm on Sunday on BBC One.
 

S J

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This season's Challenge Cup final has been postponed after the Rugby Football League conceded it will not take place at Wembley on 18 July. However, the RFL remains hopeful of staging the competition this year and playing the final at the national stadium, even behind closed doors. The sixth-round draw was made only days before rugby league was stopped because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The sixth-round ties had been due to be played on the weekend of 4-5 April, with the quarter-finals on 9-10 May and the semi-finals scheduled for a triple-header with the women's Challenge Cup final at the University of Bolton Stadium on the weekend of 6-7 June. The postponements of all three rounds, and now the final, means there remains a possibility that this year's competition will have to be reformatted and redrawn.

Of the 16 teams left in the cup, five are from the Championship and League One, with no guarantee that either of those competitions will be restarted this season.

The AB Sundecks 1895 Cup final, a competition for Championship and League One sides, which was due to take place at Wembley prior to the Challenge Cup final has also been postponed.

Since the inception of the Challenge Cup - rugby league's oldest knockout cup competition - in 1897, there have been only five years when it has not been competed for.

It was shelved for four years during World War One and again in 1940 during World War Two.