Challenge Cup round two dates confirmed - Featherstone Rovers to face Batley Bulldogs in Saturday lunchtime derby

Featherstone Rovers' Betfred Challenge Cup second round derby against Batley Bulldogs will be played on Saturday (March 27), with a 12.45pm kick-off

Monday, 22nd March 2021, 12:31 pm
Updated Monday, 22nd March 2021, 12:32 pm
Josh Hardcastle in action for Featherstone against Bradford, Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

The tie, behind closed doors at Millennium Stadium, Post Office Road, will be streamed live on www.TheSportsman.com, YouTube and Facebook.

On Sunday, Swinton Lions' meeting with Oldham (12.30pm) and York City Knights' trip to London Broncos (2.30pm) will be broadcast live on BBC iPlayer, Red Button and BBC Sport digital platforms.

The round concludes at 5pm on Sunday when Widnes Vikings take on visitors Whitehaven, with coverage on www.TheSportsman.com, YouTube and Facebook.

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The Sportsman, a sports news and features website, began its Challenge Cup coverage by streaming York’s first round win against Sheffield Eagles at Keepmoat Stadium last Friday .

The eight teams in the second round will be battling for a double prize, as - alongside a place in the third round of the Challenge Cup - they will also qualify for the semi-finals of the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup, leaving them 80 minutes away from a Wembley appearance.

RFL chief commercial officer Mark Foster said: “After such a successful first round weekend, which marked the first competitive action for more than a year for the 16 clubs involved, we’re delighted to have secured coverage of all four second round ties.

“To have two ties broadcast live by the BBC for the second consecutive round is another significant boost for the profile of the Betfred Challenge Cup and the clubs outside the Super League, as the focus sharpens on which four clubs will earn places in the third round when the network coverage begins.

“The BBC coverage of Gavin Henson’s rugby league debut for West Wales Raiders, followed by the heavyweight battle between Featherstone and Bradford, helped to generate unprecedented interest in the first round weekend.

“We were also delighted by the reaction to the first live streaming by TheSportsman.com for the Sheffield-York tie on Friday night and it’s great they will be able to double that commitment in the second round by showing the other two ties."

Foster added: “With the Our League platform allowing us to stream the other five first round ties and all the fixtures in the early rounds of the Betfred Championship, starting with seven matches over the Easter weekend, we have also been able to allow clubs to recoup some of the significant costs of staging matches behind closed doors - either by offering greater value to their season ticket holders, or by introducing earlybird rates and day or weekend passes to watch matches.

“The revenue generated for all matches so far has comfortably exceeded production costs and we are hopeful more fans at all levels will join our growing Our League membership, which is now more than 170,000, to watch the quality rugby league in Betfred Championship, League One and the Challenge Cup.”

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