17th September 2020, 14:14 | ChallengeCup
This weekend’s bumper Coral Challenge Cup Quarter Final line-up begins on Friday evening as two one-time winners of the competition – Catalans Dragons and Salford Red Devils – go head-to-head at 6pm, live on Sky Sports Arena.
Catalans’ historic Challenge Cup triumph came back in 2018 when they surprised many by beating Warrington Wolves 20-14 at Wembley Stadium to lift the coveted trophy for the first time. The Dragons still boast many of the players from that memorable day as well as Head Coach Steve McNamara.
Challenge Cup success is something that has eluded Salford Red Devils having won the competition just once way back in 1938. The Red Devils have been on the losing side in the Challenge Cup Final on six occasions but haven’t been to the showpiece event since 1969.
Both sides come into this year’s competition with ambitions of doubling their Challenge Cup trophy cabinets and, for Catalans, the route to the final began three weeks ago with a dominant Round Six victory over Wakefield Trinity at Huddersfield’s John Smith’s Stadium. David Mead was the star of the show crossing for a hat-trick while Fouad Yaha, Benjamin Garcia and Matt Whitley also went over.
Catalans had enjoyed two huge Super League victories over Castleford Tigers and Wakefield in addition to their Challenge Cup win over Trinity, but there impressive run of form came to a shuddering halt last weekend as they were defeated 12-28 against Wigan Warriors as they returned to the Stade Gilbert Brutus, in front of a crowd of around 5000 spectators.
Similarly, Salford burst back onto the scene following the season’s restart with a 54-18 win against Hull FC but have fallen to consecutive defeats against Leeds Rhinos and Castleford in recent weeks. Ian Watson’s side do come into this weekend’s fixture with an additional week of rest which could prove beneficial.
McNamara has made three changes to his squad ahead of this weekend’s Coral Challenge Cup tie with Sam Moa, Michael McIlorum and Josh Drinkwater all returning to the squad. All three incoming players featured in the 2018 Coral Challenge Cup Final for the Dragons.
As for Salford, Kallum Watkins – who has featured in four separate Coral Challenge Cup Finals – could debut for his hometown club following his recent move. Dan Sarginson and Chris Atkin have also been added into Watson’s 21-player squad.
Catalans Dragons: Lewis Tierney, Samisoni Langi, Israel Folau, Fouad Yaha, James Maloney, Josh Drinkwater, Rémi Casty, Michael McIlorum, Sam Moa, Matt Whitley, Joel Tomkins, Benjamin Garcia, Julian Bousquet, Alrix Da Costa, Mickael Goudemand, Arthur Romano, Jason Baitieri, Arthur Mourgue, Sam Kasiano, Sam Tomkins
Salford Red Devils: Ed Chamberlain, Kris Welham, Dan Sarginson, Krisnan Inu, Tui Lolohea, Kevin Brown, Joey Lussick, Gil Dudson, Pauli Pauli, Tyrone McCarthy, Sebastine Ikahihifo, Greg Burke, Luke Yates, Chris Atkin, Mark Flanagan, James Greenwood, Rhys Williams, Elliot Kear, Connor Jones, Jack Ormondroyd, Kallum Watkins
Watch Catalans Dragons and Salford Red Devils battle for a place in the Semi Finals of the Coral Challenge Cup live on Sky Sports Arena from 6pm on Friday 18 September.