Crusaders coach warns pro clubs of amateur threat

North Wales Crusaders coach Anthony Murray has warned those professional clubs facing amateur teams in the Challenge Cup this weekend not to underestimate their opposition.

The Welsh outfit were knocked out of last year’s competition by Thatto Heath in the fourth round but avoided a similar fate this year by beating Rochdale Mayfield 64-4 in the third round a fortnight ago.

They now face fellow League 1 Hunslet in the fourth round this weekend, with the four remaining amateur clubs – Siddal, Leigh Miners Rangers, Underbank Rangers (who have already knocked out west Wales Raiders) and the British Army all aiming to claim the scalp of higher league opposition.

“I am glad we didn’t fall victim to an amateur side again this year, but it is so easily done,” said Murray.

“Look at Thornhill Trojans in the last round. They were beating Doncaster until the last few minutes, so they could potentially have won and knocked them out.

“I have said on numerous occasions that the community game has some really good players, many of whom would be capable of playing in League 1.

“That’s why when you do draw an NCL Premier or community club you know you have got to be on guard and prepare for the game as if you a playing a professional team.”

Betfred Challenge Cup Fourth Round fixtures
Friday 21st February
Leigh Centurions v Batley Bulldogs 20:00

Saturday 22nd February
Featherstone Rovers v Barrow Raiders 15:00
Sheffield Eagles v Halifax 14:00 (at the Mobile Rocket Stadium, Wakefield)
Siddal v Newcastle Thunder 14:00
Swinton Lions v Leigh Miners Rangers 15:00

Sunday 23rd February
Bradford Bulls v Underbank Rangers 13:00 (BBC Sport)
London Broncos v York City Knights 15:00
North Wales Crusaders v Hunslet 14:30 (OuRLeague App)
Rochdale Hornets v British Army 15:00
Whitehaven v Dewsbury Rams 15:00
Widnes Vikings v Oldham 15:00
Workington Town v Doncaster 15:00