Championship duo eye further Challenge Cup upsets

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The Independent Online

Barrow Raiders full-back Gary Broadbent believes the squad can hold their heads up high even if they fail to claim another Super League scalp against St. Helens on Saturday.

Broadbent, who was part of the Raiders side that stunned Castleford Tigers by knocking them out of the Carnegie Challenge Cup with a 34-28 victory at the Jungle in April, is one of several stars featured in the Independent's latest Tryline podcast.

It was the first time a non-Super League team has managed to get the better a top-flight opponent since 2006 in the 113-year-old knockout competition.

Interest in the ambitious Championship club is growing in Cumbria, largely off the back of the Raiders' cup run with nearly two thousand fans set to make the trip to the North-West for their last eight encounter with Saints.

Broadbent said: "For us as a squad of players, it's great to actually get to the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup. Yeah it's going to be a massive task to go down there and play against a team filled with internationals, but we are all really looking forward to it.

"Some of the younger lads can't wait to pick their brains against the likes of Gidley, Cunningham and players of that calibre.

"We know that Saints are an unbelievable team, but we want to concentrate on our own game as we can play football and hope to give a good account of ourselves."

History isn't on the Raiders side though as Steve McCormack's men bid for an unlikely semi-final place, as they haven't won at Knowsley Road for 64 years.

Batley Bulldogs are another club aiming to cause a big cup upset this weekend as they play host to Super League strugglers Catalans Dragons.

Karl Harrison's side secured their spot in the quarter-finals by overcoming Swinton in a rearranged fifth round clash following Halifax's ejection from the competition for fielding an ineligible player and the Bulldogs coach is feeling optimistic about their chances.

The former Great Britain international said: "Realistically we should have no chance against a Super League club but our form is pretty good and there isn't too great at the moment. We are almost at full strength, on a good run of games and scoring lots of points, so yeah we pretty confident to be truthful.

"The Championship is a tough standard of rugby league now. It's a very level competition with a lot of young players who have just not quite made the grade and experienced pros. The bar is being raised every year and this season is exceptional. You have to perform week in, week out to get the points and that has made the gap closer, certainly to the bottom clubs in Super League."

You can hear more from Harrison in this special Challenge Cup focused edition of Tryline as well as the views of Warrington coach Tony Smith and Leeds Rhinos duo Brian McClennan and Danny McGuire as they look forward to quarter-final ties against Bradford and Wigan respectively.

As ever, there is a round-up of the latest news from all 14 Super League clubs plus a review of the last set of fixtures. Click here to listen to the latest Tryline podcast.