Rugby League

Challenge Cup

30 Jan 2024

Top ties in the Betfred Challenge Cup Round Three

Top ties in the Betfred Challenge Cup Round Three

Following the Round 3 and Round 4 draws, here are the top ties coming up in the Third Round of the Betfred Challenge Cup.

With the Men’s Betfred Challenge Cup Round Three fixtures confirmed, we take a look at some of the top ties heading into the Third Round (to be played on 10 and 11 February).

22 semi-professional clubs from the Betfred Championship and League One will enter the competition in Round 3, alongside the 10 community clubs who successfully navigated Round Two last weekend.

Hammersmith Hills Hoists v Wests Warriors

London had two community clubs in the hat for the Third Round draw, and the two remaining Southern Conference (SCL) sides have been drawn together for their Round 3 cup tie – in what is predicted to be a mouth-watering clash.

Hammersmith will host Wests Warriors in a home tie, as they continue to make Challenge Cup history. Hammersmith marked an historic achievement for their Club last weekend, as it was the first time the London side have ever reached the Second Round. But following convincing wins against Medway Dragons and West Bowling in the earlier stages, Hammersmith now find themselves in Round 3 of the sport's prestigious competition.

Similarly, Wests Warriors have deservedly booked their place in Round 3, following wins over Newsome Panthers and Rochdale Mayfield. The Warriors reached the Third Round last year but were heavily defeated by Championship outfit Widnes Vikings, with the Third Round being the furthest they have ever progressed.

Both teams have knocked out National Conference League (NCL) opposition to reach this round, and this cup tie is significant for another reason – it will be a SCL Grand Final rematch between the two sides, in which Hammersmith triumphed 14-0. The Warriors, who were Grand Final winners for two consecutive years in 2021 and 2022, were unable to retain their title as Hammersmith were crowned 2023 SCL Champions. Therefore, fans should expect a fiery encounter, as the Warriors will be seeking retribution.

Neither side have ever reached a Fourth Round tie before, and there's only one team who can make it...but who will come out on top?

Lock Lane v Hunslet ARLFC

A West Yorkshire derby has been drawn, with Lock Lane hosting Hunslet ARLFC on home soil.

Both sides were ruthless in Round Two, nilling their opposition, as Lock Lane thrashed Edinburgh Eagles 72-0, and Hunslet ARLFC produced a dominant 66-0 display over Fryston Warriors.

Hunslet ARLFC are still fairly new to the Challenge Cup competition, having debuted just last year and the furthest they have reached is Round 3, where they were beaten by Batley. The Leeds outfit will therefore be looking to make history, as they embark on a mission to reach the Fourth Round.

Similarly, Lock Lane will be looking to make it to Round 4, as they reached this round in 2019, before being defeated also by Batley. With a Fourth Round tie and bragging rights at stake, this meeting between the two rivals is set to be an entertaining cup clash.


Siddal ARLFC v Wakefield Trinity

2023’s BARLA National Cup winners Siddal will be relishing the opportunity to host a former Super League side on home soil, as they welcome a rejuvenated Wakefield Trinity, who are also five time Challenge Cup winners.

The furthest Siddal have ever reached in the Challenge Cup competition is the Fourth Round – and they have reached this stage on three occasions in their history, before losing out to teams in the professional ranks. The side will be hoping they can test themselves against a strong Championship outfit, and with a bumper crowd expected, it is set to be a great spectacle for all in attendance.

Wakefield haven’t had much Challenge Cup luck in recent years, falling at the first hurdle last year when they entered the Sixth Round. Their most recent run of cup success comes in the form of a semi-final appearance in 2016, where they were heavily beaten at Leigh Sports Village by Warrington Wolves, who were the League Leaders' Shield winners of the same year.

Trinity have a rich history where Wembley is concerned but haven’t made an appearance there since 1979. Could this all be set to finally change in 2024?

Stanningley v Wath Brow Hornets

Stanningley are really excelling in the 2024 Challenge Cup competition, having enjoyed an emphatic win over South Wales Jets in Round One, before travelling to and clinching a dramatic 19-18 win over NCL opposition Leigh Miners Rangers - which was streamed live on BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport.

Ashton Golding's men will be hoping to go one step further than they did in 2023 and reach the Fourth Round when they host Cumbrian side Wath Brow Hornets in a home tie. The Hornets, on the other hand, haven't reached the Third Round since 2016, so will be determined to produce a top performance and will be hopeful of equalling their record of reaching and playing in the Fourth Round.

Stanningley have already knocked out one NCL side, but will they be able to go one step further and beat an NCL side from the Premier Division?

The Betfred Challenge Cup Round Three fixture list in full:

  • Sheffield Eagles v Newcastle Thunder
  • Batley Bulldogs v Workington Town
  • Bradford Bulls v North Wales Crusaders 
  • Cornwall v York Acorn
  • Hunslet v Keighley Cougars
  • Halifax Panthers v Whitehaven
  • Stanningley v Wath Brow Hornets 
  • Swinton Lions v West Hull
  • Siddall v Wakefield Trinity 
  • Dewsbury v York Knights 
  • Lock Lane v Hunslet ARLFC
  • Widnes Vikings v Doncaster 
  • Hammersmith Hills Hoist v Wests Warriors
  • Rochdale Hornets v Midlands Hurricanes
  • Barrow Raiders v Oldham
  • Thatto Heath Crusaders v Featherstone Rovers


Owing to the tight turnaround between rounds three and four, and to aid clubs with their forward planning and preparation, the draw for Round 4 was made immediately after the third round draw. All 32 Round 3 teams went into the hat, with the eight Round 4 ties drawn on an ‘either/or’ basis. These can be viewed by clicking here.

BBC Sport will select one tie from each of the rounds, which will be streamed live on BBC iPlayer, the BBC Sport website and app. Streaming details will be announced as soon as possible.   

The Men's 2024 Betfred Challenge Cup Final is part of a Finals Day triple-header at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 8 June, alongside the finals of the Betfred Women's Challenge Cup and AB Sundecks 1895 CupTickets are available online now from only £15 Adults and £7.50 Under 16s, with family packages also available starting from just £18.75 for one Adult and two Under 16s.