Leeds Rhinos: Coach Dave Furner hails exciting Challenge Cup derby draw with old foes Bradford Bulls

Dave Furner
Dave Furner
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LEEDS RHINOS have been drawn away to Bradford Bulls in the sixth round of the Coral Challenge Cup.

Castleford Tigers face a tough game at Hull, Wakefield Trinity have home advantage against second-tier Widnes Vikings and Dewsbury Rams get an opportunity to secure a quarter-final place at home to Betfred Championship rivals Halifax.

Rhinos coach Dave Furner played in the 2003 Challenge Cup final at Cardiff when Leeds were beaten by Bradford, but gained revenge in the following season’s Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford – his final match as a player.

The sides have not met since Bulls were relegated from Super League in 2014.

“I think it’s exciting,” Furner said of the draw.

“I know the rivalry between the teams.

“We have got four games to get through before we get there and that’s what we will be focusing on, starting this Friday, but I think it’s good for Leeds and Bradford.”

Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington described it as a “marvellous” draw.

“It’s a great draw for Bradford and for us as well,” he said.

“It is local, we still have that rivalry and it’ll be an occasion to look forward to.”

Speaking before the draw, Bulls coach John Kear – who masterminded Hull’s 2005 Cup final win over Rhinos – said Leeds at home was the tie he wanted.

He said: “That would be great. It would fill the ground and be a great moneyspinner for us and it would be nice to play them as well.”

Bulls were heading out when they trailed 26-8 to Featherstone Rovers on Sunday, but a touchline conversion by former Leeds player Elliot Minchella sent the game into golden-point extra-time and Jordan Lilley – on loan from Rhinos – kicked the winning drop goal.

Hetherington confirmed Lilley will be eligible to play in the sixth round tie, on the weekend of May 11/12.

The full draw is Salford Red Devils v Hull KR, Dewsbury Rams v Halifax, Warrington Wolves v Wigan Warriors, Bradford Bulls v Leeds Rhinos, Hull v Castleford Tigers, Catalans Dragons v Doncaster, Huddersfield Giants v St Helens, Wakefield Trinity v Widnes Vikings.