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“Would it really be a surprise?” – Eddie Hemmings predicts huge Challenge Cup upset

The Challenge Cup is back this week and will see Super League sides compete in the tournament for the first time in 2024.

The road to Wembley begins for Super League clubs but for at least four Super League sides the road to Wembley will end at the first hurdle.

This is because of the eight fixtures this week, four are all Super League clashes. They start tonight (Friday 22nd March) as one of the biggest sides in the country will be dumped out.

Leeds Rhinos and St Helens, the second and third most successful sides in the Challenge Cup, collide whilst Hull KR and Salford Red Devils also meet meaning two Super League sides will be out of the cup by the end of today.

Hull FC and Huddersfield Giants meet in another all Super League clash whilst Warrington Wolves take on London Broncos for the second week in a row.

But could any Super League side lose to a Championship side?

Super League side set to be stunned by Batley in Challenge Cup

Throughout the Challenge Cup’s history, there have been some massive upsets. The biggest was undoubtedly when Wigan Warriors were stunned by Sheffield Eagles in the 1998 Final. But it feels like there is next to no chance of that happening again in 2024 as they meet tonight.

Challenge Cup holders Leigh Leopards host their old Championship rivals Featherstone Rovers. Catalans Dragons head over to Halifax Panthers in another clash involving a Championship side.

But the fixture most believe could end in an upset is the meeting between Castleford Tigers and Craig Lingard’s former club Batley Bulldogs where the Bulldogs have home advantage.

Speaking on The Sportsman’s The Last Tackle, former Super League star said on upsets: “The Challenge Cup has a history of throwing up storylines and drama and this is all set up for a potential banana skin for a Super League side.

“I think they’ll be hoping for more rain, apparently it’s going to be a tricky weekend in terms of weather. It’s going to be difficult.”

Meanwhile, former Sky Sports commentator Eddie Hemmings believed the Bulldogs could defeat Cas and suggested it wouldn’t be a surprise: “They’re talking upsets at Batley and would it really be a surprise if Batley won it?”

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