Challenge Cup quarter-final draw ensures Bradford Bulls or Halifax will reach last four
A CHAMPIONSHIP club is guaranteed a place in the last four of the Coral Challenge Cup after Bradford Bulls and Halifax were paired together in the quarter-final draw.
The Bulls’ reward for their shock 24-22 win over Leeds was another home derby against Halifax, who knocked out London Broncos in the fifth round before beating fellow Championship club Dewsbury at the weekend.
“We wanted to play at home again and I’m happy to play Halifax, just as I’m sure Halifax will be happy to play us,” Bradford coach John Kear said.
“Whoever wins, it will be fantastic for a Championship team to play in the semi-finals. It’s what the cup is about, they have thrown up some great ties.”
Bradford got the better of Halifax in a league game at the Shay on Good Friday and the two teams will meet again in the Summer Bash in Blackpool next Saturday.
In the draw for the last eight, which was conducted by former Great Britain players Ellery Hanley and Jonathan Davies, holders Catalans Dragons were handed a trip to Hull FC while Warrington, 26-24 winners over Wigan in the sixth round, will go to Hull KR.
The Wolves beat Rovers 54-6 in Super League in April but coach Steve Price says his side will not take them lightly.
“There are no easy games now,” Price said. “Nothing changes for us, we respect all our opposition.”
Hull KR coach Tim Sheens was delighted with a home tie after winning 32-18 at Salford in the last round.
“I made the comment to everyone after the Salford game that we’d be happy with a home tie and we have got one,” Sheens said.
“There’s still three weeks to go until we host Warrington so there’s plenty of footy to be played in the meantime. However, we’re hopefully going to build our strength over next three weeks with a couple of guys returning to action.
“I’m delighted for the supporters that it’s a home game. Those who made the trip over to Salford were rewarded with a pleasing performance and it’s great that they can support us on our turf in a few weeks’ time.”
Warrington are looking to go one further after losing to the Catalans in the final last August in Price’s first season at the helm.
“To lose two finals is not easy to take,” said Price, who side lost to Wigan in the Grand Final in October. “I’d like to think it provides us with extra motivation.”
Quarter-final ties (to be played from May 30-June 2): St Helens v Wakefield, Bradford v Halifax, Hull KR v Warrington, Hull v Catalans Dragons.