Rugby League

Challenge Cup

17 May 2024

Betfred Challenge Cup Preview | Semi-Finals

Betfred Challenge Cup Preview | Semi-Finals

Hull KR, Wigan Warriors, Huddersfield Giants, and Warrington Wolves all head into the weekend knowing they are just 80 minutes away from booking their place in the Betfred Challenge Cup Final.

All four sides have reached Rugby League’s most historic final in the last five years, so will know exactly how and what it means to get there…


Hull KR v Wigan Warriors

On Saturday, there will be Challenge Cup action taking place in Doncaster at the Eco-Power Stadium, where Hull KR and Wigan Warriors will battle it out for the first Challenge Cup Final place on offer.

As last year’s Challenge Cup Finalists take on the current Betfred Super League and World Champions, it’s set to be an exciting showdown in South Yorkshire.

Hull KR, one of 2024's emerging powerhouses, will look to make it back-to-back Wembley appearances after falling agonisingly short in last year’s epic final against Leigh Leopards, while Wigan haven’t had their hands on the famous cup since 2022. 

It would also be Wigan’s first Wembley appearance since 2017, having played the 2022 final at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – where Liam Marshall clinched a dramatic victory for the Warriors, in what was head coach Matt Peet’s first year at the helm.

The Warriors haven’t managed to win Wembley since 2013, however.

The two sides met just a matter of weeks ago, with the Robins running out as 26-10 winners in Round 9 of the Super League. It is no secret the Robins have enjoyed fantastic home form in 2024 and played some attractive rugby at Sewell Group Craven Park. But they have struggled to win on the road this year and ultimately suffered a disappointing defeat to Warrington in last week’s Round 11.


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The Warriors, on the other hand, come into this game occupying top spot of the Betfred Super League and will have their eyes firmly on the prize as they look to lay down the marker this season.

To reach the semi-finals, Hull KR have overcome both Salford and current holders Leigh in the Sixth Round and Quarters, whereas Wigan defeated Championship heavyweights Sheffield and then Castleford.

Saturday’s clash also sees a repeat of last year’s unforgettable semi-final – as fans will remember how Willie Peters’ men snatched a nail-biting 11-10 victory against the Warriors at AMT Headingley Stadium to reach the big stage and dethrone Wigan who were the then holders.




Having denied Wigan their chance of a treble-winning season in 2023, the Warriors will undoubtedly look to enact their revenge in this upcoming cup clash – and could prevent Hull KR a chance to right their wrongs from last year’s Wembley outing.

The Robins no longer have match-winner Brad Schneider in their team – the man who came up with the last-gasp drop goal against Wigan in last year’s semi. But they have certainly built on last year’s performances and boast new signings as well as players who experienced the cup heartache and know exactly what’s at stake.

The likes of Mikey Lewis, Jez Litten, Ryan Hall, and Elliot Minchella all played in the Wembley Final last year, but this time could have fresh faces alongside them - including Joe Burgess and Oliver Gildart, two former Wigan men.

A semi-final victory for Hull KR would mean a third Wembley appearance for the club in the last ten years.  And in their past two cup journeys they have interestingly had to overcome Wigan Warriors at some stage and have done so successfully.

2015 saw the Robins defeat the Warriors in the Sixth Round – the same year they made it to Wembley for the first time since 1986. Fast forward to 2023 and KR were also the semi-final winners – but can they be a third time lucky?

But nobody should be underestimating the 20 times Challenge Cup winners, with the Wigan club rich in history where the Challenge Cup competition is concerned.

As the Warriors aim to be a dominant force in 2024, Matt Peet’s men have set their standards high – and they definitely have the quality and stars within their team to deliver.

Wigan want it all this year and their first mission starts with the prestigious Challenge Cup, as they enter their third consecutive semi-final. Can surprise package Hull KR stand in their way? 


Huddersfield Giants v Warrington Wolves

The second semi-final on Sunday will see Huddersfield Giants take on Warrington Wolves in St Helens at the Totally Wicked Stadium. The two teams will meet for the first time in 2024 having last played one another in June last year.




The sides enjoyed comfortable wins in the Sixth Round over Hull FC and London Broncos respectively, before further big margin wins over Catalans Dragons and St Helens.

Huddersfield became the first team to beat the Dragons in Perpignan in 2024 with a superb 6-34 win in the Quarter-Final stages of the competition, whilst Warrington caused an 8-31 upset away at the Saints.  

The Wolves will now return to St Helens’ home ground - the neutral venue for their semi-final clash – and will be hoping to return to Wembley for the first time since 2019.

Warrington’s ambitions this year are apparent, and it could be a sensational story for Sam Burgess and his side should the ‘Wire’ achieve their Wembley dream.

It is Ian Watson’s Huddersfield they will have to try and get past first – a side who haven’t had their hands on the Challenge Cup Trophy since 1953 – although have come excruciatingly close on a number of occasions.

Their last outing at the Challenge Cup Final came in 2022 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, where a win was cruelly snatched in the dying moments of the game by a robust Wigan outfit.

This semi-final test becomes another one of Huddersfield and Warrington’s many cup meetings in history – their most recent encounters being a 2013 Quarter-Final and a 2012 Semi-Final - both of which Warrington were victors.

Most memorably though, fans will remember the 2009 Challenge Cup Final contested between Huddersfield and Warrington as the Wolves claimed a thrilling 25-16 victory.

The only player still present from these two sides is Giants stalwart Leroy Cudjoe, a man who hopes of winning a major final before his playing career comes to an end.

The Wolves come into this game on the back of a gutsy win over Hull KR and joint-top of the Super League, whereas Huddersfield will have to dust themselves down quickly following a disappointing loss to Wigan in the latest Super League round.

Warrington have won the last nine cup meetings between the two sides, but who will be on their way to Wembley in 2024?


Expect the Unexpected in the Betfred Challenge Cup!


Betfred Challenge Cup Semi-Final ties: 

Hull KR v Wigan Warriors - Saturday 18 May, Eco-Power Stadium (K.O. 1:45pm) - BBC One

Huddersfield Giants v Warrington Wolves - Sunday 19 May, Totally Wicked Stadium (K.O. 3:15pm) - BBC Two


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 £20 Adults and £10 Under 16s, with family packages also available.