After an exciting and hugely competitive First Round which saw several games go down to the wire, the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup returns this weekend with another cracking set of fixtures.
While there’s the potential for serious shocks and more high-scoring affairs across the eight games in the Second Round, here are the three ties the Ladbrokes News team reckon might produce the best drama.
Pilkington Recs v Siddal ARLFC
The Recs were one of the surprise packages of last season’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup, with the National Conference League side knocking out League 1 London Skolars en route to a Fourth Round berth. But they’ll have to make it past 2016 Conference winners Siddal if they want a chance to repeat those heroics this year.
Both meetings between this pair last season ended with a narrow victory for the home side, and the Recs will be hoping that trend continues. But they’ll have their work cut out against a Siddal side currently on a four-game winning run.
And you can catch this game on BBC Sport’s online streaming service, kicking off at 14:15 on Saturday.
— The Challenge Cup (@TheChallengeCup) February 10, 2017
Wigan St. Patricks v Egremont Rangers
St. Pats edged out Leigh Miners Rangers by 16-12 in a hard-fought game at Twist Lane, with the reward being a home tie for the Wigan outfit. But they now face a meeting with league rivals Egremont, who beat Pats 28-14 the last time the pair met, in September.
The big question here is over whether the imposing hosts can break down one of the most resilient defences in the NCL. This one is likely to be tight, tense and gripping. Hold onto your seats!
Featherstone Lions v Wests Warriors
The Lions did it the hard way in the First Round, snatching a 29-28 victory against Distington to the delight of the Millpond Stadium faithful. And they could need the backing of their home support again this weekend as in-form Wests Warriors make the long trip to West Yorkshire.
Last season saw the Warriors put their opponents in the London Premier League to the sword, regularly winning games by over 50 points – including a 66-0 demolition of Surrey Sharks.
As for Featherstone, they made it as far as the Fourth Round last year. This time around, they’ve got the high-scoring Warriors to deal with before they can think about playing the game’s biggest names.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing