The dream is over for all non-Super League sides as eight teams from the top flight secured their place in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup quarter-finals.
Batley, Oldham, Halifax, Dewsbury and Toulouse were left flying the flag for the lower leagues in the sixth round at the weekend, but all fell to top-flight opposition as the line-up for the last eight was confirmed.
There’s also no place in the quarter-finals for current holders Leeds Rhinos, who went down 36-22 to Huddersfield Giants on Friday night, their first defeat in the competition since May 2013. After being 18/1 to lift the trophy prior to Friday’s game, the Giants have now been cut to just 6/1.
Standing in their way in the quarter finals will be Wakefield Wildcats, who eventually saw off a spirited Toulouse side. The Wildcats looked to be cruising into the last eight after going 22-0 up, but the Frenchmen got four tries to bring themselves within six points, only for two late Wildcats scores to secure their passage.
Batley Bulldogs were unable to cause an upset on Friday night against Catalans Dragons, losing 40-4 to the French outfit, while Oldham failed to replicate their fifth round heroics, going down 70-10 at home to Super League leaders Warrington Wolves on Saturday, who are joint favourites to lift the trophy at 5/2.
Alongside them at the top of the market are Wigan Warriors, who ran in ten tries on their way to beating Dewsbury 54-4, while Halifax gave Widnes Vikings a real scare on Sunday afternoon in the closest we came to an upset. The two sides were locked at 18-18 at the Shay, and Denis Betts will have breathed a huge sigh of relief when his side scored two tries to see off the part-timers.
Hull FC put in the performance of the round on Sunday to surprise St Helens 47-18 in their own back yard, while Castleford Tigers came out on top in Saturday’s all-Super League encounter against Salford.
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