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3rd May 2019, 12:01 | 1895_cup

1895 Cup | Round One Preview

1895 Cup | Round One Preview

This weekend sees the 1895 Cup – Rugby League’s newest competition - get underway. 

Eight Betfred League One sides will battle it out for a place in the Second Round when they will be joined by 12 Betfred Championship sides. 

Newcastle Thunder vs Keighley Cougars | Saturday 4th May | 2:30pm 

The first-ever 1895 Cup game will take place at Kingston Park as Newcastle Thunder welcome the visit of in-form Keighley Cougars. 

Newcastle have had a very mixed start to the 2019 season with three wins, three losses and a draw last weekend against Whitehaven. After a disappointing opening first two weeks, Thunder have now only lost one of their last five League One outings meaning they sit in 5thplace. 

Keighley would actually sit top of League One had they not been handed a twelve-point deduction prior to the beginning of the season. The Cougars have won five of their first seven games in 2019, suffering just one defeat. They have earned hard-fought victories over the likes of Workington, Doncaster and North Wales, but are yet to come up against Newcastle this season. 

Who wins this one? 

Hunslet RLFC vs Workington Town | Saturday 4th May | 3pm | Our League

Hunslet have taken many by surprise so far in 2019 winning five of their seven games in League One. They had been the early pacesetters until a shock defeat at home to London Skolars last weekend knocked them off top spot. Hunslet had won their two previous home games this season against West Wales and Coventry.

In contrast, Workington haven’t won on the road since the opening weekend of the season when they overcame Oldham 28-32. Town’s form has suffered in recent weeks winning just one of their last five fixtures; a narrow 32-30 triumph over Newcastle. They have been on the end of some tight losses and will be hoping they can turn that around in the 1895 Cup under the leadership of new Head Coach Chris Thorman.

Can Workington change their fortunes? 

Oldham RLFC vs Whitehaven RLFC | Sunday 5th May | 3pm

Oldham have positioned themselves as one of the stronger outfits in League One this season winning four games with their most recent coming in the form of an 8-72 hammering of West Wales last weekend. While Oldham have suffered three losses this season, they have earned impressive victories over high-flying London Skolars and League One leaders - and their opponents this weekend – Whitehaven. 

Whitehaven are the front runners after seven fixtures in League One with their only loss coming against their 1895 Cup opponents Oldham. The Cumbrians are unbeaten in each of their last five fixtures but their winning run did come to an end this past weekend as they drew 12-12 with Newcastle. Given their start to the season, Whitehaven will be looking to put themselves forward as serious challengers in the 1895 Cup. 

Can Oldham repeat the league fixture, or will Whitehaven get revenge?

Doncaster RLFC vs West Wales Raiders | Sunday 5th May | 3pm 

Doncaster have suffered a recent dip in form with just a solitary victory over Coventry in their last four games. However, the Dons were closing to notching two points this past weekend in a tough 10-12 loss to North Wales. Doncaster will be looking at the 1895 Cup as an opportunity to get back to winning.

West Wales Raiders are yet to win a game in League One, losing eight consecutive fixtures. After some solid performances in the early weeks they have since suffered heavy defeats at the hands of Keighley, North Wales and Oldham which has seen the Cougars close the gap at the bottom. However, the Raiders will know that anything can happen in a knockout competition and will be aiming to make a statement on Sunday.  

Can West Wales get the win, or will Doncaster be too strong?