Wigan drawn against St Helens in Challenge Cup quarter-finals

 

Holders Wigan will play St Helens in the quarter-finals of the Carnegie Challenge Cup.

The derby pairing of the famous rivals, who last met in the final in 2004, was the highlight of today's draw, with ties to be played on the weekend of May 11-13.

St Helens have not failed to reach the semi-finals for 11 years but they will be severely tested by the Warriors, who won 28-10 at Langtree Park on Good Friday.

That was Saints' only defeat in seven matches since caretaker coaches Mike Rush and Keiron Cunningham took charge following the sacking of Royce Simmons.

After being paired with Super League opposition in the first two rounds, last year's beaten finalists Leeds have been handed a trip to Leigh, the only Championship club in the last eight.

In the other ties, Huddersfield landed a home tie against London Broncos while Warrington, winners in 2009 and 2010, face a tricky tie away against Catalan Dragons, where they lost 44-16 on Easter Monday.

Catalan coach Trent Robinson believes his side's eight-try rout of the Wolves in Perpignan will have little bearing on the Cup tie.

"It's a big bonus to be at home," he said. "I'm delighted with that. But Warrington are a formidable team, finishing first last year and winning back-to-back Challenge Cups.

"The League game will make no difference at all. As soon as you get to knockout games, past form counts for nothing.

"We'll be preparing for a much better Warrington team. I think they've already improved since then so what happened the other week will have no bearing on this game."

Leigh coach Paul Rowley was delighted to land a plum home tie against the reigning Super League champions.

"They're the world champions so you couldn't ask for a bigger or more attractive game," he said.

"I've got the utmost respect for Leeds and their coach. I like watching Leeds and it will be a privilege to be able to host them.

"It's up to our club and the town to get behind the players and fill the stadium. It is amazing what effect a vocal crowd can have on a team.

"I'm sure every club wanted to play us and I'm quite happy with that. There will be no pressure on us. We can relax and hopefully do ourselves justice."

The Centurions will go into the tie without experienced half-back John Duffy, who sustained a shoulder injury in Sunday's 19-18 extra-time win over Halifax.

"It's a shame for John," said Rowley. "He's our club captain and pivotal to everything we do but we've got a game against Sheffield this week to learn to play without him."

Leigh are the 200-1 outsiders to repeat their 1971 Cup final triumph, which came at the hands of Leeds, while Wigan remain the 5-2 favourites with William Hill.

PA

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