Challenge Cup Preview

Jarrad Stack WT12 CH 140223_0072


Rugby League fans have five ties to choose from over Friday and Saturday, starting with Wigan St Pats hosting Leigh Centurions, though the game will be played at the Leigh Sports Village.

The game kicks off on Friday evening at 7.30pm with four ties following on Saturday afternoon. Keighley will entertain Wath Brow at Cougar Park, the third round ties pitching the amateurs against semi-professional opposition.

Perhaps the pick of the Saturday games is the tie at Featherstone’s BIGFELLAS Stadium when local amateurs Normanton entertain Workington Town.

“The Tetley’s Challenge Cup is a special competition but at the end of day we have to treat Saturday’s match as just another game of Rugby League,” said new Workington coach Phil Veivers. .

“We have to get a result on Saturday first, but assuming we do we’d like to get a bigger side at home where we can get a big crowd in, raise some funds and potentially cause an upset.”

Town skipper Jarrad Stack does not foresee complacency being an issue, despite the gulf in class between the two sides and is hoping a Tetley’s Challenge Cup run can aid their league campaign.

“I don’t expect complacency to be a problem,” he said. “We know that they will be playing us hoping to turn a Championship side over but with the coach that we’ve just got I can’t see it affecting us.

“He will be on us the whole game and if anyone is showing signs of easing up he will be pulling us off or getting messages onto the field about it.

“The minimum requirement is to progress to the further stages, at least the fourth or fifth round, but I think the main thing we are looking to get from the tournament is consistency in our game.

“Hopefully some good results in the Tetley’s Challenge Cup will help raise the standard of our league form.”

The Knights player-coach Paul Seal knows the odds are heavily stacked against them, the former Halifax loose forward thinks his National Conference League Division One team will rise to the challenge.

“I have been on the other side when you’re expected to win and you can feel that pressure, not just to perform but to win – and win by a lot of points – so it might be something we can capitalise on,” said Seal.

“We might not be as good technically but we will have enthusiasm on our side. It’s not something we get to do often and a community side playing a Championship team is something to relish, so hopefully that can give us a bit of an edge, too.”

Normanton’s game kicks off at 2pm, the same time that Batley Bulldogs will entertain Kells while the game at Keighley, and the tie between Egremont and Oldham which will be played at the Copeland Stadium, will commence at 3pm.