Challenge Cup third round draw: Featherstone to meet Halifax, while Batley and Dewsbury get home ties

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Championship leaders Featherstone Rovers will meet Halifax Panthers in the third round of the Challenge Cup, while Batley Bulldogs and Dewsbury Rams have both received home ties.

In arguably the stand-out tie of the draw, Rovers, who are the only team in the second tier with a 100 per cent record after the first four games, will face the Panthers over the weekend of March 11 and 12, with Simon Grix’s men looking to avenge the 46-22 defeat at the Millennium Stadium earlier this month.

Batley Bulldogs have been drawn at home to Northern Conference League side Wath Brow Hornets.

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On the prospect of facing the Cumbrian outfit, Bulldogs’ head coach, Craig Lingard, said:

Championship leaders Featherstone Rovers will meet Halifax Panthers in the third round of the Challenge CupChampionship leaders Featherstone Rovers will meet Halifax Panthers in the third round of the Challenge Cup
Championship leaders Featherstone Rovers will meet Halifax Panthers in the third round of the Challenge Cup

“The first thing you want in a cup draw is a home draw and we got that and then after that you want a team in a lower division and we have got an amateur team.

“It is fairly good for us on paper but it’s the old cliche - it will be their cup final, so we can’t go into the game looking at it lightly. They will bring an army of fans down to make it a really special occasion.”

Lingard admitted he didn’t know too much about their cup opponents but he did gain a victory over them as a Bulldogs player.

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He said: “I’ve got some contacts up in Cumbria who I will be on the phone to and I’ll be looking at the fixtures to see if there will be any games close to us which we can get to. They are a bit of an unknown quantity to us.

“The last time I came across Wath Brow was when I was a player when we played them in the Challenge Cup in Whitehaven. We won.

“It was a tough game, an evening game, travelling up on a midweek night. It was cold, it was wet and it was dark - everything you expect on a trip up to Cumbria but we got the victory.”

On the prospect of Featherstone being drawn at home to fellow Championship side Halifax, Lingard revealed:

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“I had a bit of a wry smile in that it wasn’t us who drew Featherstone. We’ve drawn them the last two years. We always seem to drop on Featherstone in the early rounds of the Challenge Cup. At least it wasn’t us.”

And on the thought of a hopeful cup run, Lingard said:

“You need a bit of luck with the draw but you still need to win those games. One of the things we highlighted at the start of the season was that the players wanted to target to get to the 1895 cup final and for us to do that we have got to get to the latter stages of the Challenge Cup.

“The more rounds we can win in the Challenge Cup, the better chance we put ourselves in a position to get into the 1895 cup final.”

Dewsbury Rams were also drawn at home and will welcome fellow League 1 side Rochdale Hornets to the FLAIR Stadium.

On the home draw, head coach, Liam Finn, said:

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“I am pleased for the club to get a home draw. The more home games we can get through the cup to bulk up our fixtures at home, the better.

“We’re against a team in our league so it will be a challenge. They had a good result against London Skolars, that was their first competitive game and they beat them convincingly. They have got a few experienced players, so it will be a tough test.”

Halifax amateur league outfit Siddal have been drawn at home to former Challenge Cup winners Sheffield Eagles in what should be an enthralling game.

The full draw for the third round is below:

Featherstone Rovers v Halifax Panthers

Wests Warriors v Widnes Vikings

Leigh Miners Rangers v Rochdale Mayfield

Doncaster v Workington Town

Westgate Common v Hunslet ARLFC

Dewsbury Rams v Rochdale Hornets

Siddal v Sheffield Eagles

Orrell St James v Midlands Hurricanes

Batley Bulldogs v Wath Brow Hornets

Thatto Heath Crusaders v North Wales Crusaders

Hunslet v Keighley Cougars

York Knights v West Bowling

Stanningley v Newcastle Thunder

London Broncos v Whitehaven

Bradford Bulls v York Acorn

Barrow Raiders v Swinton Lions