It is always a special time of year when Super League sides enter the Challenge Cup and that was certainly the case this weekend.
The sun even came out and treated us to some brilliant contests.
It started on Friday night. As you would have expected, Hull KR ploughed through Championship side Batley Bulldogs whilst Wakefield Trinity were equally dominated by Leigh Leopards.
The game of the night was over at the Shay as Halifax Panthers battled hard against Super League and World Champions St Helens.
The Saints won 26-6 but the night was overshadowed by Morgan Knowles’ red card.
On Saturday, Leeds Rhinos and Wigan Warriors treated us to a classic cup tie in the sunshine.
In the end a Bevan French brace was key as was his try saving tackle on Harry Newman.
In France, a late Matty Ashton try undid Catalans Dragons comeback and sent Warrington Wolves into the last eight of the competition.
Over in Salford, the Salford Red Devils won a 14-try thriller against Huddersfield Giants.
Salford led 24-0 and the Giants battled back to 24-22. Then the Red Devils took a 42-22 lead but the Giants’ second comeback set up a grand stand finish but Salford held on to a 42-40 win.
Meanwhile on Sunday, York RLFC ploughed passed London Broncos whilst Hull FC were comprehensive winners against Castleford Tigers setting up the full eight teams for the quarter-finals.
And now the draw is confirmed.
The competition’s top two collide in a huge quarter-final between Wigan and Warrington.
Hull FC will take on St Helens, Championship York meet the side who scored 100 points against them last year: Leigh whilst Hull KR and Salford Red Devils will fight for a place in the semi-finals.
Hull KR vs Salford Red Devils
York RLFC vs Leigh Leopards
Wigan Warriors vs Warrington Wolves
Hull FC vs St Helens
Following this, Jamie Jones-Buchanan revealed the Challenge Cup Final he would love to see – a huge derby:
“Imagine a Hull FC vs Hull KR Challenge Cup Final. Last one out turn off the lights. It would be great for rugby league.”