SOME OF the magic of the cup has been lost due to its latest revamp, Hunslet Hawks coach Matt Bramald fears.
Hunslet Hawks are at home to Barrow Raiders in the third round of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup tomorrow (3pm), when Kingstone Press League One clubs are in action along with surviving community sides.
Championship teams enter the competition in round four and last year’s bottom four First Utility Super League clubs come in at the fifth-round stage.
Top-eight Super League sides aren’t involved until round six – one before the quarter-finals – and Bramald said: “To have a chance of playing one of those we have to win three games.
“It is unfortunate for the smaller clubs, not many get the opportunity to play Wigan or Leeds now and test themselves against the best in the country – and also give the club a payday.
“I think it takes away from the glory of the cup, but that’s life. It is what you have got to deal with when you are in the lower leagues.”
Hawks will be aiming to bounce back from last weekend’s iPro Sport Cup defeat to York City Knights.
“We definitely have some improvements to make,” Bramald conceded.
“We have an idea of where things went wrong and we’re confident if we put things right we will give them a stern test.”