St Helens handed Bradford test

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The Independent Online

The Powergen Challenge Cup-holders, Bradford, will begin their defence of the trophy with a home clash against St Helens in the pick of the fourth-round ties.

"You don't want to play Bradford in your first round of the competition," the Saints' scrum-half, Sean Long, said at last night's draw at Odsall. "It's going to be tough, especially here where we've only won once in Super League, but if you want to win the Cup you've got to beat the best teams."

The tie is a repeat of the 2001 final at Twickenham, which was won by the Saints, although the holders will start as favourites this time.

There are two other all-Super League fourth-round ties, between Wigan and Widnes at the JJB Stadium, and the London Broncos and Salford at Brentford.

The Widnes coach, Neil Kelly, said. "We won there twice last year and I'm sure they'll want to make amends. But they've got injuries to pivotal players and it could be a good time to play them,'' he said.

The amateur clubs which beat professional opposition in the last round had reasonable luck in the draw. Sharlston are away to Oldham, while East Hull were drawn at home to Whitehaven and Dudley Hill will entertain Batley.

"We've no worries whatsoever about playing Oldham," Sharlston's Graham Chalkley said. "Martyn Wood has given us a never-say-die attitude and we've no fears at all."

One of the French clubs that are still left in the Cup, Limoux, were favoured by a home draw at home to Halifax, while the other two must travel again, UTC playing at Castleford and Pia at Huddersfield.

POWERGEN CHALLENGE CUP fourth round: Hunslet v Doncaster, Oldham v Sharlston Rovers, Wigan v Widnes, Workington v Leeds, East Hull v Whitehaven, Limoux v Halifax, Rochdale v Warrington, Huddersfield v Pia, Sheffield Eagles v York, Castleford v Union Treiziste Catalane, London Skolars v Featherstone, Bradford Dudley Hill v Batley, Bradford v St Helens, Chorley v Wakefield, Leigh v Hull, London Broncos v Salford (Ties to be played weekend 28-29 February).