Challenge Cup: Quarter-final talking points and team news | Rugby League News

St Helens and the Catalans face off again in the Challenge Cup quarter-finals this weekend

St Helens and the Catalans face off again in the Challenge Cup quarter-finals this weekend

We take a look at what’s being said and team news ahead of this weekend’s quarter-finals in the Betfred Challenge Cup…

Hull Kingston Rovers v Castleford Tigers (Friday, 7.45pm)

Lee Radford wants Castleford to show the progress they have made when they kick off this year’s Challenge Cup quarter-finals in Hull KR on Friday night.

It is a repeat of the trip the Tigers made to Sewell Group Craven Park in the third round of the Betfred Super League season, suffering a 26-10 defeat on the occasion.

Head coach Radford, whose side followed an impressive win over Leeds Rhinos in the Cup final round with victory over Toulouse Olympique in the league, believes Castleford is now a much different proposition at the end of February .

“The progress we’ve made since then has been significant,” said Radford, a Challenge Cup winner with Bradford Bulls as a player and Hull FC as head coach. “It’s important that we keep building, but we only have one chance on Friday.

“If we win, we are 80 minutes away from [final at] Tottenham Hotspur Stadium so it’s huge.

“I have incredible memories of the Challenge Cup as a player and as a manager. It’s a special competition and it’s the more attainable of the two trophies to win.”

Highlights of the Super League game between Hull KR and Castleford Tigers.

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Highlights of the Super League game between Hull KR and Castleford Tigers.

Highlights of the Super League game between Hull KR and Castleford Tigers.

Daniel Smith enters Castleford’s 21-man squad in place of suspended George Lawler, while Dean Hadley and Will Dagger were recalled for Rovers after overcoming injuries that kept them from winning 34-18 in last week against Warrington Wolves.

Named squads

Hull Kingston Rovers: Lachlan Coote, Ben Crooks, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Ryan Hall, Jordan Adbdull, Matt Parcell, George King, Dean Hadley, Kane Linnett, Matty Storton, Jez Litten, Korbin Sims, Elliot Minchella, Jimmy Keinhorst, Will Dagger, Mikey Lewis, Rowan Milnes, Will Maher, Sam Wood, Greg Richards, Frankie Halton.

Castleford Tigers: Niall Evalds, Derrell Olpherts, Jordan Turner, Bureta Faraimo, Jake Trueman, Liam Watts, Paul McShane, Kenny Edwards, Adam Milner, Joe Westerman, Nathan Massey, George Griffin, Mahe Fonua, Tyla Hepi, James Clare, Alex Sutcliffe, Daniel Smith , Greg Eden, Suaia Matagi, Gareth O’Brien.

Catalan Dragons v St Helens (Saturday, 2.30pm BST)

Kristian Woolf relishes the growing rivalry between St Helens and the Catalans as last year’s Super League big runners-up clash in Perpignan on Saturday afternoon.

Catalan Dragons' Gil Dudson has been trashed after an incident within 15 seconds of the start of the new Super League season!

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Catalan Dragons’ Gil Dudson has been trashed after an incident within 15 seconds of the start of the new Super League season!

Catalan Dragons’ Gil Dudson has been trashed after an incident within 15 seconds of the start of the new Super League season!

The two teams have met before this year in a fiery season opener at the Totally Wicked Stadium, which saw defending champions Saints emerge victorious while the Catalans had Dylan Napa sent off.

Head coach Woolf knows the Cup holders face another intense competition against the 2018 winners at Stade Gilbert Brutus, but he wouldn’t want it any other way.

“It’s probably just an addition to a number of rivalries, to be honest,” Woolf said. “I think we are the rival of a number of clubs and there is also a positive side to that.

“Most teams tend to do their best against us and we get that real experience of playing at a high level every week knowing that the teams come and give us their best football game and we have to find a way to overcome that. .

Highlights from the Super League season opener between St Helens and Catalans Dragons

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Highlights from the Super League season opener between St Helens and Catalans Dragons

Highlights from the Super League season opener between St Helens and Catalans Dragons

“This week will be no different, we know that the Catalans are going to bring their best in this department for two reasons: because they play us, but also because of the type of game.

The Catalans have Arthur Mourgue available for the first time this season after recovering from an ankle injury, while Micky McIlorum, Benjamin Jullien, Mitchell Pearce and Jordan Dezaria are also back. Will Hopoate, Matty Lees and James Bell all return to the Saints’ 21-man squad.

Named squads

Catalan Dragoons: Arthur Mourgue, Tom Davies, Fouad Yaha, Mitchell Pearce, Josh Drinkwater, Gil Dudson, Micky McIlorum, Matt Whitley, Mike McMeeken, Benjamin Garcia, Benjamin Jullien, Paul Seguier, Mickael Goudemand, Matthieu Laguerre, Arthur Romano, Tyrone May, Dylan Napa , Jordan Dezaria, Joe Chan, Sam Kasiano, Sam Tomkins.

Saint Helena: Jack Welsby, Tommy Makinson, Will Hopoate, Mark Percival, Jonny Lomax, Lewis Dodd, Alex Walmsley, James Roby, Matty Lees, Joe Batchelor, Morgan Knowles, Joey Lussick, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Curtis Sironen, Agnatius Paasi, James Bell, Ben Davies, Konrad Hurrell, Dan Norman, Sam Royle, Jon Bennison.

Huddersfield Giants v Hull FC (Saturday, 5pm)

Brett Hodgson can’t wait to be back in Challenge Cup action as Hull FC travel to Huddersfield Giants on Saturday night.

The Aussie won the competition with Warrington in 2012 and was awarded the Lance Todd Trophy for his pivotal role in the 35-18 win over Leeds Rhinos.

After beating Betfred Championship Sheffield Eagles in the last round, the Black and Whites now travel to the John Smith Stadium to take on the side they beat 14-6 in the Super League three weeks ago and the manager- Chief Hodgson is thrilled with the game.

“I like competition because you have to leave everything you have on the field or you might end up,” Hodgson said.

The best of the action from the Super League clash between Hull FC and Huddersfield Giants

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The best of the action from the Super League clash between Hull FC and Huddersfield Giants

The best of the action from the Super League clash between Hull FC and Huddersfield Giants

“Every match is almost a cup mini-final because there are no second chances.

“There’s always a different feel to the Challenge Cup too. There’s an upbeat vibe around the place and it’s getting exciting now as we head towards the end of the competition.”

Both managers have made just one change to their 21-man squads since the last round of Super League fixtures.

Louis Senior returns for Huddersfield after missing out on the 28-12 win over the Catalans, while Hull FC have Josh Reynolds available again to play in the halves after recovering from injury.

Highlights from Betfred's Super League game between Huddersfield Giants and Catalans Dragons

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Highlights from Betfred’s Super League game between Huddersfield Giants and Catalans Dragons

Highlights from Betfred’s Super League game between Huddersfield Giants and Catalans Dragons

Named squads

Huddersfield Giants: Jermaine McGillvary, Ricky Leutele, Ashton Golding, Tui Lolohea, Theo Fages, Chris Hill, Danny Levi, Michael Lawrence, Josh Jones, Chris McQueen, Luke Yates, Matty English, Joe Greenwood, Jack Cogger, Owen Trout, Sebastine Ikahihifo, Adam O ‘Brien, Oliver Wilson, Leroy Cudjoe, Louis Senior, Innes Senior.

FC Hull: Jake Connor, Adam Swift, Carlos Tuimavave, Josh Griffin, Darnell McIntosh, Josh Reynolds, Luke Gale, Ligi Sao, Danny Houghton, Chris Satae, André Savelio, Manu Ma’u, Jordan Lane, Joe Lovodua, Kane Evans, Brad Fash, Ben McNamara, Jack Brown, Jordan Johnstone, Josh Bowden, Mitieli Vulikijapani.

Wakefield Trinity v Wigan Warriors (Sunday, 2.30pm)

Growing up as a Wigan fan, Matt Peet became accustomed to the team dominating the Challenge Cup during the first half of the 1990s.

Now head coach of his hometown club, Peet is aiming to recreate those glory years and they have made a strong start to the Super League in 2022 with six wins from seven games after edging Hull FC 19-18 last week.

Highlights of the Betfred Super League game between Wigan Warriors and Hull FC

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Highlights of the Betfred Super League game between Wigan Warriors and Hull FC

Highlights of the Betfred Super League game between Wigan Warriors and Hull FC

However, he knows the Warriors can’t afford to take anything for granted as they head to an improving Wakefield side who have now won four on the rebound – most recently beating the Salford Red Devils 30- 24 – in Sunday’s quarter-final.

“My childhood growing up was taken for granted and it was very consistent that you went to Wembley with everyone,” Peet said. “It became the norm and it was a special moment with special teams.

“It’s something we’d love to recreate, but there’s a long way to go and great teams ahead of us, starting with Wakefield which is a fantastic competition and will have its own reasons and motivations.

“The story is fantastic, but it won’t count for much when it kicks off.”

Highlights from Betfred's Super League game between Wakefield Trinity and Salford Red Devils

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Highlights from Betfred’s Super League game between Wakefield Trinity and Salford Red Devils

Highlights from Betfred’s Super League game between Wakefield Trinity and Salford Red Devils

Named squads

Trinity of Wakefield: Max Jowitt, Tom Johnstone, Reece Lyne, Jacob Miller, Mason Lino, Eddie Battye, Liam Hood, Tinirau Arona, Matty Ashurst, Kelepi Tanginoa, Jay Pitts, Jordy Crowther, Jai Whitbread, James Batchelor, Lee Gaskell, Liam Kay, Sid Adebiyi , Harry Bowes, Lewis Murphy, Corey Hall and David Fifita.

Wigan Warriors: Bevan French, Jake Bibby, Zak Hardaker, Iain Thornley, Cade Cust, Thomas Leuluai, Brad Singleton, Sam Powell, Patrick Mago, Willie Isa, Liam Farrell, John Bateman, Morgan Smithies, Harry Smith, Oliver Partington, Ethan Havard, Liam Byrne , Joe Shorrocks, Jai Field, Sam Halsall, Brad O’Neill.

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