The Ladbrokes Challenge Cup returns this weekend, marking the arrival of eight Super League clubs alongside impressive underdogs like Doncaster and Barrow Raiders.
And there are plenty of fascinating sub-plots in this weekend’s fixtures, beginning with Hull KR’s quest for revenge…
Will Sheens’ men get revenge on Leigh?
Hull KR and Leigh Centurions swapped places in the Rugby League pyramid following last season’s Qualifiers – a feat ensured in large part by the Centurions’ 25-18 victory at KCOM Craven Park.
However, the North-West outfit face a rejuvenated Robins side this time out, with Tim Sheens’ side sitting top of the Championship, with 10 wins from their first 11 games of the season.
As for Leigh, they’ve endured a tricky start to life in Super League. So Saturday could be the day KR get their own back.
And their captain is certainly looking forward to the occasion.
— Leigh Centurions (@LeighCenturions) April 20, 2017
Can Wolfpack pull off a shock at Salford?
Toronto Wolfpack have gained attention from both sides of the Atlantic since entering League 1 and the Challenge Cup this season. And it’s so far, so good for the Canadian side, who have won all seven of their games this term – including an 80-0 demolition of North Wales Crusaders last time out.
And having already won at London Broncos in the cup, Paul Rowley’s men are now looking to go one better with victory at Super League outfit Salford Red Devils this time out.
For their part, the Red Devils have enjoyed a strong start to the season, sitting third in Super League right now.
Something’s got to give: but what?
Who will edge all-League 1 battle?
The only side holding a candle to the Wolfpack in the third-tier right now are Barrow Raiders. The Cumbrian outfit have won all of their first five games in the league. So, can they keep that up against their divisional rivals in Sunday’s cup cracker?
Their hosts are York City Knights, a team the Raiders beat 28-0 at Craven Park back in March. However, with the Knights enjoying home advantage – and fresh off the back of an impressive win against Doncaster – this meeting looks harder to call.
Rhinos’ quest to reclaim cup begins
Leeds Rhinos may have spent much of last season locked in a relegation battle, but Brian McDermott’s side are a far tougher pack this time around – and they’ll be looking to recapture the glories that saw them lift this trophy in 2014 and 2015.
Their first test looks a modest one on paper – coming in the form of League 1 Doncaster. But having been knocked out at the first attempt in this competition last term, there could be a few nerves creeping in against the fired-up visitors.
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