25th March 2021, 12:48 | challengecup

Betfred Challenge Cup | Round Two Preview

Betfred Challenge Cup | Round Two Preview

Eight Championship sides look to progress

The Betfred Challenge Cup continues this weekend as eight Championship sides battle it out to potentially set up a tie with a Super League outfit in Round Three.

Two Championship promotion hopefuls meet in the tie of Round Two as London Broncos welcome York City Knights to the capital – live on BBC Sport this Sunday - following comfortable victories for both last week.

Danny Ward’s Broncos managed to overcome a resilient Keighley Cougars side 24-10 at Rosslyn Park with Gideon Boafa, Jacob Jones, Sam Davis and Romain Navarette crossing for London.

The Knights dispatched of Sheffield Eagles in the opening fixture of Round One with a 6-30 victory at Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium. Both Ben Jones-Bishop and Ryan Atkins scored in their first competitive outings for York while Perry Whiteley grabbed a brace and Kriss Brining also crossed.

London and York met in Round Four of last year’s competition with the Knights edging it 22-24 thanks to a late Jimmy Keinhorst effort and Connor Robinson conversion.

BBC Sport’s coverage of Round Two begins at 12:30pm on Sunday afternoon with a tasty Greater Manchester derby between Swinton Lions and Oldham RLFC.

Swinton were the final team to book their place in Round Two after an impressive 28-16 victory over the Championship’s newest side, Newcastle Thunder. Oldham saw off Barrow Raiders in a hard-hitting affair at Bower Fold.

This will mark the first meeting between the sides since 2017 when Swinton ran out 29-6 winners in the Championship Shield. However, across the last six meetings between the clubs each have earned three victories with the most memorable fixture also going the way of the Lions in the form of 24-25 win at the 2016 Summer Bash in Blackpool.

The weekend’s action begins with an all-Yorkshire affair between Featherstone Rovers and Batley Bulldogs, live on The Sportsman.

Featherstone were dominant in Round One racking up a 41-6 win against Bradford Bulls while the Bulldogs also saw off Championship opposition in the form of Halifax Panthers, 6-19 at The Shay.

The Rovers have won each of their last eight meetings with Batley as well as each of their last eight home fixtures against the Bulldogs. Interestingly, Batley’s last away victory against Featherstone was thanks to a Golden Point Extra-Time drop-goal in a Play-Off fixture back in September 2013.

Round Two closes on Sunday evening – live on The Sportsman – as Widnes welcome Cumbrian outfit Whitehaven.

Whitehaven featured in potentially the game of the round in Round One with hometown hero Gregg McNally’s late try and drop-goal proving the difference against Dewsbury Rams. Meanwhile, Widnes ran out comfortable victors against West Wales Raiders in Llanelli.

The Vikings have won each of their last 12 home meetings with Whitehaven. Gary Charlton’s side will be looking to earn their first win on the road at Widnes since 15th June 1997.


Betfred Challenge Cup Round Two schedule: 

Saturday 27th March

Featherstone Rovers v Batley Bulldogs (12:45pm) – Live on The Sportsman

Sunday 28th March 

Swinton Lions v Oldham RLFC (12:30pm) – Live on BBC Sport 

London Broncos v York City Knights (2:30pm) – Live on BBC Sport 

Widnes Vikings v Whitehave RLFC (5pm) – Live on The Sportsman