This weekend sees Super League placed on hold whilst the Challenge Cup gets going once again. The oldest competition in our game will take centre stage once more as the final eight gets trimmed down to four. Which sides will take a step closer to the prestigious old trophy? We’re set to find out with all four quarter-finals shown live on TV. Add the brilliant coverage of the NRL to the weekend ahead and you have a rugby league banquet to stick your teeth into.
10:45 Sky Sports Arena – South Sydney Rabbitohs v Melbourne Storm
Souths have been very impressive so far this season and look like a real contender for the Premiership. However, current holders Melbourne shouldn’t be counted out just yet and the Storm will be tough to beat on Thursday night. This should be one of the games of the weekend.
10:50 Sky Sports Arena – Parramatta Eels v Sydney Roosters
However, it’ll face stern competition from this contest when it comes to game of the weekend. Last season Parramatta laid down their credentials and continue to build on them in 2021. The Eels are sniffing around at the top of the table as they did for huge chunks of last year. Their opponents Sydney have won two of the last three Grand Finals however and that knowhow makes them dangerous.
17:30 Sky Sports Mix – Catalans Dragons v Warrington Wolves
In the first quarter-final of the weekend two sides with Challenge Cup history do battle. The pair contested the 2018 final as the Dragons became the first team from outside of the UK to win the famous old trophy. However, the pair have even more recent history. Just two weeks ago the Wolves ended Catalans’ unbeaten start to the season – can the Dragons gain revenge?
20:00 Sky Sports Mix – St Helens v Huddersfield Giants
In another game we’ve seen recently, Huddersfield will be looking to avenge their 18-10 league defeat at the hands of the Super League Champions in Round Four. The Giants come into the game on the back of their first league win of the season and having run the Saints close just two weeks ago they could cause them real problems. St Helens are looking to end a 13 year wait for the cup and claim the trophy for the first time since 2008. That was their third Challenge Cup in a row a run that started with a cup final victory in 2006 against Huddersfield funnily enough.
8:25 Sky Sports Arena, Sky Sports Main Event – West Tigers v Gold Coast Titans
The Titans slipped to an embarrassing defeat to the struggling Brisbane Broncos last time out despite a substantial halftime lead. It was a low point in a good season for Gold Coast especially having lost to their close rivals. It’s the other way round for Wests. Their difficult season perked up a bit last weekend with a rare win. Can they build on it?
14:00 BBC Two – Hull FC v Wigan Warriors
Last Thursday saw these two meet in a classic yet controversial match-up that certainly adds another layer of intrigue to what could be the game of the round. The Black and Whites showcased all the qualities of a trophy winning side on Thursday night bar one or two moments when the game drifted away from them. This match could be a tougher challenge for Hull without star Jake Connor who has been handed a suspension following his high tackle against the Warriors last time out. There’s plenty of history between the two when it comes to the cup. Wigan’s last cup triumph came in 2013 against Hull whilst Hull’s last Challenge Cup success came against Wigan in 2017.
17:10 BBC Two – Castleford Tigers v Salford Red Devils
Continuing the theme of the quarter-finals, these two met in the final back in 1969 and it’s almost 52 years ago to the day since the duo met in the capital but only one of the pair can take another step closer to Wembley this year. Castleford are the favourites but you can’t write off Salford. Last year’s finalists have a recent affinity with knockout rugby.