So, there we have it – all the big sides are now in the Challenge Cup after Thursday morning’s sixth-round draw (in case you missed the draw, all eight ties are here).
There are going to be three ties televised this time, with one on Sky Sports, and the other two shown on the BBC. With some genuinely great ties pulled out of the hat by John Humphrys and Martin Offiah – but which three should get the go-ahead for TV coverage? Here’s the three we’ve plumped for.
Sky Sports: Batley v Catalans
We reckon Sky should continue to reward the Championship sides after their excellent showing in the last round. It wasn’t just Oldham’s upset which gained headlines, but Batley’s tie against Featherstone drew some pretty impressive acclaim from those watching after a belting cup tie at the home of the Bulldogs. With them drawing high-flying Catalans at home, hopefully Batley can pack their ground out for what would be a magical night in West Yorkshire.
BBC: Huddersfield v Leeds
It’s inevitable that we’ll get an all-Super League tie along the way – so if Huddersfield and Leeds are both still in the bottom four come the sixth round (which they likely will be), then putting this one live on television makes sense. Leeds are the defending champions after all, and it would be strange to see their quest to win the cup for a third year in a row not being on television.
BBC: Oldham v Warrington
Maybe we’re being overambitious in hoping for two Championship sides to be on TV in the next round, but it would be a real shame if Oldham didn’t get some deserved exposure after their victory against Hull KR in the last round. Their 6,500 capacity ground at Stalybridge should be packed to the rafters if they get a Sunday afternoon tie on TV against Warrington – with the Wolves likely to travel in good numbers too.