Rugby League

Challenge Cup

26 Feb 2024

Betfred Challenge Cup Round 4 Review

Betfred Challenge Cup Round 4 Review

Round 4 of the Betfred Challenge Cup was underway at the weekend, with the eight winners now left to battle it out in Round 5 - ahead of the Super League teams entering in the Sixth Round.

On Sunday, the magic of the cup continued as Wakefield Trinity hosted Hunslet ARLFC at the DIY Kitchens Stadium. It was an emphatic 78-6 victory for Trinity, but this was not without a fight from the reigning NCL Premier Champions. This included a remarkable try on the 7th minute from speedy Hunslet winger Tyler Dragan, as he intercepted a Trinity pass and raced away to equalise the scores – his efforts applauded by both sets of fans.

Also in West Yorkshire, Featherstone Rovers produced a dominant display against Keighley Cougars on home soil, triumphing 58-14 – to line up a mouth-watering Fifth Round tie with derby rivals Wakefield. It was a ten try spectacle for the Rovers on Sunday afternoon, including a hat-trick from playmaker Connor Jones, as the Rovers cruised their way into the next round.

History repeated itself on Saturday, as York Acorn defeated fellow NCL rivals Wath Brow Hornets in their all-community game tie. The two sides had previously met in the 2019 Challenge Cup competition, where Acorn took the spoils, 8-9 – and Saturday would be no different as it was another clinching win for York. In a high-scoring affair, Acorn pipped it 32-28 in the end and have earned themselves a place in Round 5 for the first time ever in the club’s history. Acorn have already beaten League One’s Cornwall in their 2024 cup journey, but how will they go against Halifax Panthers in Round 5, as the only team left to represent the community game?

Meanwhile, Halifax put SCL Champions Hammersmith Hills Hoists to the sword, inflicting a heavy 50-4 victory. The Hoists competed in their first Fourth Round fixture ever, but ultimately the Championship outfit would prove too strong in the end. Hammersmith can bow out with their heads held high however, as it was a valiant effort from the London side.

Elsewhere, live on BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport at the weekend, Widnes Vikings emerged victorious against Bradford Bulls on the road. Both sides boast a rich Challenge Cup history between them and this Odsal cup clash did not disappoint. With a nervy 6-8 score-line at half-time, it continued to be a close encounter, until a late Vikings try from Joe Edge would seal a memorable win. Similarly, Sheffield Eagles sealed a convincing win at York's LNER Community Stadium. Although the Knights capitalised early doors, the Eagles hit back with some Matty Marsh magic on the 13th minute, and held onto the lead ever since.

Finally, it was a battle of Greater Manchester on Sunday streamed live on The Sportsman, as an unbeaten Swinton Lions continued their fine form against a thriving Oldham, as they beat Sean Long’s men 28-12 to reach the Fifth Round.

Betfred Challenge Cup Round 4 results:

Round 5 draw (ties to take place over the weekend of 9/10 March) :

Halifax Panthers v York Acorn 

Widnes Vikings v Batley Bulldogs 

Featherstone Rovers v Wakefield Trinity 

Swinton Lions v Sheffield Eagles

BBC Sport will select one tie to be streamed live on BBC iPlayer, the BBC Sport website and app; The Sportsman will select another. Streaming details will be announced as soon as possible.    

12 Betfred Super League sides enter the competition at Round 6, with the draw for that round scheduled for Monday 11 March and the ties themselves for the weekend of 23/24 March.

The Men's 2024 Betfred Challenge Cup Final (KO 3pm) 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 (KO 11.45am) and the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup (KO 5.45pm). Plus, there will be the traditional Year 7 Boys’ Champion Schools Final at 10am. Tickets 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.