Dream day for McCormick

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The Independent Online

There will be some unfamiliar names in the quarter-finals of the Powergen Challenge Cup this year. The quirks of the draw and the way that the bigger Super League clubs have been knocking each other over mean that there will be at least two sides from the National Leagues in the last eight.

There will be some unfamiliar names in the quarter-finals of the Powergen Challenge Cup this year. The quirks of the draw and the way that the bigger Super League clubs have been knocking each other over mean that there will be at least two sides from the National Leagues in the last eight.

One will be the winners of the tie between Batley and Whitehaven this afternoon, with Steve McCormick's Cumbrians perhaps the marginal favourites. The other golden opportunity is at Featherstone, a village with a great Cup-fighting tradition, where York are the visitors. York did not even have a team a little more than a year ago, but they have risen from the ashes of the previous club and consolidated in National League Two. Victory today would guarantee them a major payday.

For the other teams from outside Super League, this should be the end of the road. Oldham have home advantage against Warrington, but the 80 points the Wolves put past Rochdale in the previous round shows how wide the gulf can be between full- and part-time professionals.

Doncaster travel to Huddersfield, but are likely to find that the Giants are too big and too strong. This should also be the weekend when French involvement in the cup ends. Limoux are at their home ground in the foothills of the Pyrenees and have their Kiwi prop Siose Muliumu clear from suspension after winning his appeal, but even an injury-hit Wigan should be too good. Chris Melling makes his first start on the wing for the visitors after a good debut from the bench in the victory over Salford last week.

That leaves two all-Super League ties, with Castleford going to Hull and Wakefield at London. Cas have been unimpressive, and although Hull's familiar injury problems have reared their head, they should have too much for them. Wakefield have a stronger squad this time, but have yet to click. Jon Wells scored just one try for them in 24 appearances last season and would relish getting on the scoresheet for the Broncos against them today.

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