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Challenge Cup acca: Leeds Rhinos eye vengeance, Batley to give Castleford Tigers run for their money

Super League action takes a back seat this weekend as we head into the sixth round of the Challenge Cup.

Fans were treated to plenty of thrills and spills in the first five rounds of the oldest rugby competition in the world.

Wakefield Trinity, for instance, were sensationally knocked out of the competition following a mud-bath defeat to Featherstone Rovers.

In the earlier round, the likes of York Knights, Oldham and Bradford Bulls also tumbled out of the tournament.

Things begin to heat up in the sixth round as the 12 Super League clubs enter the frame.

Here, we take a closer look at four weekend games, including a potential thriller at Headingley Stadium.

 

Leeds Rhinos vs St Helens (Fri, 2000 GMT)

One week on from their Super League meeting, Leeds and St Helens are preparing for a second date.

Saints got the better of their rivals on Friday, picking up a 18-8 victory at Headingley courtesy of a dominant second-half display.

Leeds will be hoping for revenge, but their record against St Helens doesn’t fill us with much confidence.

The Rhinos have only picked up one win in 16 meetings and we’re backing the visitors to continue on that trajectory.

TIP: St Helens to win

 

Huddersfield Giants vs Hull FC (Sat, 1400 GMT)

Saturday was a hugely disappointing day for both Huddersfield and Hull FC as both teams endured defeats in the Super League.

The Giants put on a sloppy performance against Hull KR and found themselves 24-0 down with 15 minutes to go. The visitors stepped off the gas and Huddersfield were able to get 12 points back.

Hull FC, meanwhile, were thrashed at home 54-4 by the Leigh Leopards – their fourth defeat in five games.

Tony Smith’s men look a million miles off the pace, leaving us with no option but to back the Giants.

TIP: Huddersfield Giants to win

 

Batley Bulldogs vs Castleford Tigers (Sat, 1500 GMT)

Five weeks into the new season and Castleford Tigers remain without a mark in the win column.

Saturday offers Craig Lingard the perfect opportunity to get his first W as Cas boss when he takes on his former club Batley.

This won’t be an easy test for the Super League side by any stretch of the imagination. The Bulldogs have won five of their seven competitive games this season and are a threat at home.

Nevertheless, Castleford should have enough quality to eventually get over the line.

TIP: Castleford Tigers to win with a winning margin 1-12 points

 

Halifax Panthers vs Catalans Dragons (Sun, 1500 GMT)

The days of Halifax Panthers challenging for the Challenge Cup are well in the past and in all honesty, they would need a near-miracle to continue their campaign past the sixth round in 2024.

Catalans Dragons are seemingly heading for another successful season and a big cup run is once again on the cards.

The French side have made a strong start in Super League and they are expected to deal with their Championship opponents in comfortable fashion.

TIP: Catalans Dragons -24 handicap

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