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The bookies fancied St Helens to make progress in the Challenge Cup and join a semi-final line-up of Hull KR, Huddersfield Giants, and the Wigan Warriors, as they welcomed the Warrington Wolves to the Totally Wicked Stadium with an eight-point handicap on the coupon.

With no meeting so far in 2024, the last time that the two sides met was back in September 2023 when the Saints were the victors by 16-8, but the last time that there was a meeting in the Challenge Cup, also a quarter final stage, back in 2020 it was Warrington who secured the win before losing to Salford in the semi-final.

Huddersfield experienced the ‘magic of the cup’ when they beat the Dragons in France last night, the question on everyone’s lips was whether this Sunday afternoon would be Warrington’s turn.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 14th Apr 2024 6:19 PM
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The men’s and women’s Challenge Cup semi-final draws were held during the half time interval in the final men’s quarter final between St Helens and the Warrington Wolves at the Totally Wicked Stadium.

Both competitions are down to their last four sides with Leeds, St Helens, Wigan and York represented in the women’s competition and Hull KR, Huddersfield, Wigan and either St Helens or Warrington in the men’s.

The draw was made by Jamie Peacock and Kevin Brown with the Women’s draw taking place first.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 14th Apr 2024 5:24 PM
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When the draw was made for the quarter final of the 2024 Challenge Cup, most supporters would have been willing for their side to be drawn out against a struggling Castleford Tigers side who have only picked up one league win so far this season, in the end that lucky side was the Wigan Warriors.

Many pundits, and the bookies, believed that this was as good as a bye for the Warriors and with them being handicapped by thirty points on the coupon, they were a ‘shoe in’ for the semi-finals and probably the side that the others would look to avoid one game out from Wembley.

The concept of a Tigers win was unthinkable for all except the Castleford coach Craig Lingard and his trusted seventeen players playing for the pride in their jersey.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 14th Apr 2024 4:52 PM
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In a repeat of the 2023 Challenge Cup Final, Hull Kingston Rovers were looking for revenge against a Leigh Leopards side who were hungry for a return trip to Wembley to relive the glories of last season.

Hull KR favourites, based on their great start to the Super League season, and they were handicapped by eight points on the coupon, but this was the cup and in the cup it is possible for anything to happen.

It was a full-blooded opening eight minutes with both sides setting out their intentions early in proceedings, Leigh having the better of the but it was the Robins who opened the scoring with Joe Burgess breaking the Leigh line on his own twenty and sprinting down the centre of the field to sidestep the full back and go in under the sticks.

Mikey Lewis was unable to add the conversion.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 13th Apr 2024 6:51 PM
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The French were in town for a fifth versus seventh clash as Toulouse Olympique looked for their second win of the season against the Bradford Bulls as both sides looked for some consistency in their 2024 campaigns.

There was just one change for the home side after last weeks stunning win over Featherstone Rovers with Jorge Taufua back in the starting line up after serving a two-match suspension against a Toulouse side looking to bounce back from last weeks loss to the Swinton Lions.

The Bulls were favourites with the bookies for the win and had been handicapped by four points on the coupon, but it was expected to be a close game between two evenly matched sides.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 13th Apr 2024 5:01 PM
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A round three Championship local derby pitted the Featherstone Rovers against the Bradford Bulls at Post Office Road as both sides sought their second win of the season and hoped to make a move up the league in its early stages.

Featherstone were slight favourites with the bookies due to home advantage but it wasn’t a foregone conclusion according to the bookies as Rovers are struggling to find the form which saw them top the table with ease last season.

It’s early in the season but this game was important for both sides and the result would go some way to showing their intent.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 7th Apr 2024 4:50 PM
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If it wasn’t for the London Broncos safety net, Hull FC would find themselves propping up the Super League after the opening six rounds of the competition after an awful start to the season for Tony Smith’s men which saw them welcome the Huddersfield Giants to the MKM Stadium.

The Giants smashed the Airlie Birds out of the Challenge Cup a fortnight ago when they secured a 50-6 home win to progress into the quarter finals, the omens weren’t good for the home side.

A win for the Giants would lift them two places and into sixth spot in the table as they would leapfrog the Rhinos and the Red Devils and the bookies fancied the Giants win as the most likely outcome, the visitors being given a twelve-point start on the coupon.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 6th Apr 2024 4:53 PM
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When the just two points cover the top seven teams in the competition then many games become top of the table clashes and a Friday night encounter between the Leeds Rhinos and Warrington Wolves at Headingley Stadium was one such occasion.

A big win for the Wolves, by a margin of more than twenty points, would see them back to the top of the table and while victory for the Rhinos would see them level with at least three other teams on points, they would need an unachievable winning margin of at least ninety-one points to overtake Wigan on points difference.

The bookies made the home side slight favourites for the win and handicapped them by four points on the coupon, it promised to be a close match between two sides who are still seeking some 2024 consistency.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 5th Apr 2024 9:55 PM
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Facing Wigan Warriors on the back of their first defeat in fifteen games is never ideal, but when you are Adrian Lam’s Leigh Leopards who are looking desperately for a win then it is doubly difficult as the two sides met for the first ‘Battle of the Borough’ in 2024.

A win by four points or more would put Wigan back to the top of the pile with a game in hand, a win for the Leopard wouldn’t improve their league position but would edge them a little further away from potential danger.

The bookies weren’t expecting a runaway win as the Leopards edge closer to their first win of the season, and they only gave the home side a twelve-point start on the handicap coupon, expecting that it might be a closer affair than many commentators and tipsters.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 4th Apr 2024 9:51 PM
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A home win for the London Broncos would not only be their first points of the season but it would also lift them off the bottom of table and above the Castleford Tigers, but the Huddersfield Giants travelled south to the capital with other ideas as they needed to secure a win to keep them in touch with the league’s top sides.

No-one, bookies included, gave the home side a ‘snowball in hell’s chance’ of taking the points, the handicap on the Giants was twenty-six points for those who fancy a flutter.

But London will win a game at some point in 2024, and their fans hoped that this might be the one against a side just four places above them in the early season table.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 31st Mar 2024 4:46 PM
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The East Lancashire Road derby pitted the Salford Red Devils against the Leigh Leopards in an Easter Saturday early evening kick off as the side in seventh pace hosted their historical rivals who are currently in ninth after both sides have had an indifferent start to the season.

One of these sides would give their season a kick start with a precious win, the other would remain in the doldrums, the bookies made the home side the slight favourites but after only handicapping them by two points on the coupon they didn’t believe that there would be very much in it.

It was the first time that the two sides had met in 2024, with plenty up to grabs.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 30th Mar 2024 7:20 PM
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Rivals round threw together two rivals whose rivalry wasn’t based on geography as the Warrington Wolves took on the Catalans Dragons at the Halliwell-Jones Stadium in a top of the table battle which would see the winner draw level with St Helens in top spot.

The Dragons won the encounter between the two sides in the south of France on the opening weekend, but the Wolves are starting to find some form in recent weeks.

The Wolves were slight favourites with the bookies for the win and had been handicapped by four points on the coupon but there really was very little to choose between the two sides as the neutrals settled down to watch a close game between two competitive sides with Grand Final aspirations.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 30th Mar 2024 5:06 PM
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The original derby pitted St Helens against the Wigan Warriors in the traditional Good Friday encounter which would see one of the two sides go clear at the top of the table while a big points loss for either side would see them slipping down a very tight league table.

It was a sell-out crowd at the Totally Wicked Stadium as arguably the best two sides in the competition went head-to-head, a mouthwatering prospect for the neutral as well as supporters of both sides.

The bookies were struggling to split the sides, making the home side slight favourites, and handicapping them by a couple of points, but it really was anyone’s as Saints looked to end a brilliant and lengthy Wigan winning streak.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 29th Mar 2024 4:52 PM
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The atmosphere and expectations were much different from when Hull KR and Hull FC met in the opening fixture of the season, when the sides were on parity with high hopes and dreams for the season ahead.

The Good Friday derby game saw a Hull KR side who were doing well in mid-table and who knew that a win would put them level on points with the current top of the table while FC came into the game third bottom with the hopes that a win would lift them above Leigh into ninth spot.

KR humiliated the Airlie Birds on that occasion with a big twenty-two point victory, keeping their old enemy pointless and sending the home crowd home with desperation on their faces.

The bookies expected that it would the Robins who would take the win and the points with a massive twenty-two-point handicap on the coupon, no-one gave the visitors a chance.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 29th Mar 2024 2:16 PM
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The ‘Rivals’ Round of Super League 2024 threw together the Castleford Tigers and the Leeds Rhinos to renew old rivalries and fight for the all-important two points as the opening fixture of the Easter weekend got underway on Thursday night at Wheldon Road.

A first win of the season Castleford, and by a margin of fifteen or more points, would lift them above Hull FC and into tenth place in the table, while a victory for the Rhinos would see them above the other Hull club, Kingston Rovers, and into fifth spot, with a massive points win potentially putting them higher.

The home side had a fourteen-point start on the coupon, the bookies predicting that the Tigers awful start to the season would continue for at least another week.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 28th Mar 2024 9:45 PM
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The Men’s Betfred Challenge Cup returns to BBC TV on the weekend of 13/14 April, with the mouth-watering ties between Hull KR and Leigh Leopards and St Helens and Warrington scheduled for broadcast on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 respectively.

On Saturday 13 cup holders Leigh Leopards visit Sewell Group Craven Park to take on Hull KR in a repeat of last year’s memorable Wembley final, won by the Leopards in dramatic style through Lachlan Lam’s drop goal in golden point extra-time, the kick off in east Hull is 5pm.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Tue 26th Mar 2024 3:43 PM
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The quarter finals of the Challenge Cup are an all Super League affair after the remaining Championship sides were eliminated over the weekend along with the Leeds Rhinos, Salford Red Devils, Hull FC and London Broncos.

The remaining sides went into the hat for tonight’s draw which was held live on Radio 5 Live across the nation and was made by rugby league supporting darts players Michael Smith and Joe Cullen.

The fixtures will be played over the weekend of the 13th and 14th April with the television rights still to be decided.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Mon 25th Mar 2024 8:58 PM
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The Halifax Panthers had a giant killing on their minds as they took on the side sitting level top of the Super League after the opening five rounds and 2018 Cup winners, the Catalans Dragons at the New Shay.

The bookies and pundits were firmly of the opinion that it would be a big win for the visitors and gave the home side a thirty-point start on the coupon, but this is the famous Challenge Cup and so far in round six there hadn’t been a single surprise, the hopefuls filing into the stadium in the hope that this would be the one.

The Dragons were taking no chances as they fielded a very strong side giving due respect to the Panthers.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 24th Mar 2024 4:41 PM
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Just a week after the two sides met in the nation’s capital, Warrington Wolves and London Broncos met again in the Challenge Cup, this time at the Halliwell Jones Stadium as London tried to put the previous weekends hammering out of their minds and focus on the slim chance of cup progress.

London had been given a thirty-eight-point start on the coupon and if you fancied a flutter ten you could get 100/1 on a Broncos win, there was zero chance of an upset and every potential that it could be a cricket score in Warrington’s favour.

Warrington made a couple of changes to last week, but it was a fundamental shuffle in the pack for London in the hope of bolstering up round fives paper thin defence.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 23rd Mar 2024 7:13 PM
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Leigh Leopards entered the Challenge Cup still seeing their first win of 2024 after a disappointing start to the season and were up against Championship side Featherstone Rovers who have also had a mixed start to the season including last weekend’s loss against the Batley Bulldogs.

Leigh were without Gareth O’Brien but relieved that Lachlan Lam was back on the subs bench after suffering a gashed leg against the Rhinos a fortnight ago and they were up against a side who have been dogged by off field problems in the opening weeks of the new season.

Leigh were massive favourites for a big win, Featherstone given a thirty-two-point start n the handicap coupon, the visitors were on a hiding to nothing.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 23rd Mar 2024 3:47 PM
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