Rugby League: Eagles eye first trip to Cup final

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The Independent Online
THE two sides from outside the game's heartland, the Sheffield Eagles and London Broncos, have been drawn apart in the semi-finals of the Silk Cut Challenge Cup, keeping alive the possibility of the most unfamiliar looking final in Wembley history.

Sheffield will meet Salford in one semi, with London facing the favourites, Wigan, in the other. Wigan's victory over St Helens in the last round has started a rush for Wembley tickets, but the League is confident that even a final between two clubs without long tradition or large fan bases would be a major draw.

"We would have to work a little harder," a League spokesman, Peter Rowe, said. "But it would be a chance for people from the two cities who have not watched the two clubs regularly to enjoy Wembley."

Sheffield are likely to be without their centre, Keith Senior, for the semi-final. Senior has been told that he must appear before the disciplinary committee on Thursday, accused of punching Castleford's Barrie-Jon Mather during their victory there in the last round.

The incident was placed on report, because the officials could not be certain of the culprit's identity. Now a one-match ban would put Senior out of the semi, while a more lengthy ban would mean missing Wembley.

Oldham are to lodge a formal protest with the League about Bramley's unique twinning arrangement with Super League's Leeds, claiming the arrangement affords an "unfair advantage" over other Second Division clubs.

SILK CUT CHALLENGE CUP Semi-final draw: Sheffield v Salford; London v Wigan. Ties to be played on 28 and 29 March.