Who can earn a big-name Third Round tie?
It’s the Second Round of the Coral Challenge Cup this weekend, with 26 sides looking to progress and secure a tie against League 1 opposition.
Ahead of an intriguing weekend of ties, we look at three of the key storylines across the fixture list – kicking off with Millom’s latest test.
From Red Star to gold star for Millom?
There was rather more fanfare than usual for Cumbria’s Millom in the last round, as they lined up against Serbian Challenge Cup newcomers Red Star Belgrade.
It was a fitting clash between the tournament debutants and the world’s oldest amateur Rugby League club – Millom having been founded way back in 1873
The fanfare occasion saw a crowd of almost 1,000 in attendance, with Serbian flags hoisted outside the pub by Millom’s Coronation Field ground. The hosts eventually breezed to a 38-10 win, with Noah Robinson the star man for the Cumbrians.
This time around, it’s a shorter trip for their visitors. Siddal won the National Conference League in 2016 and 2017, so will be fancied here. But Millom have already shown they’re not scared of the big occasion.
St Pats to discover spirit of 2014?
Few clubs have produced as many of the game’s top talents as Wigan St Patricks. Everyone from Liam Farrell and Josh Charnley, to Shaun Wane and Sam Tomkins came through the youth system at Clarington Park.
But now it’s time for the current crop of St Pats aces to do the business. And they’ll be galvanised by the spirit of 2014 – where they progressed to reach an eye-catching Challenge Cup tie against Leigh Centurions.
Sunday’s fixture – streamed live on OurLeague from 2:30pm – sees St Pats fighting the law…in a sense, anyway.
They’re up against British Police, who romped to a 44-18 win at Wallsend Eagles in the last round. As for Pats, they enjoyed a similarly comfortable away win (24-12) at Leigh East. All the signs point to this one being a cracker.
West Hull set for a cup run?
Hull have had representatives in three of the last four Challenge Cup Finals. Hull F.C. lifted the trophy in 2016 and 2017, while Hull KR were runners-up in 2015.
While a trip to Wembley won’t be on the radar of West Hull, they could be the most likely side National Conference League side to produce a barnstorming cup run.
They breezed to a 42-12 victory against Royal Navy at US Sports Ground in the last round, and head into this campaign off the back of a fine 2018 season in the Conference. They finished second in the top-flight, with 15 wins from 22 games.
On Saturday, they face what looks like a straightforward cup clash against underdogs Bentley.
Having famously reached the fifth round of the Challenge Cup in 1996 – becoming the first amateur side to defeat two professional sides in a season – this could be another vintage year for West Hull.
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