Rugby League: Hull and Sheffield draw giant-killers

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The Independent Online
THE two Cumbrian amateur sides who made history by reaching the last 16 have been rewarded with fifth round ties against Super League opposition in the Silk Cut Challenge Cup.

Ellenborough, who beat Hunslet in the last round, have a trip to Hull, while Egremont, who whitewashed Workington Town - a Super League side themselves just 18 months ago - face Sheffield Eagles.

There are some heavyweight confrontations elsewhere, with the holders, St Helens, at home to neighbours Warrington and Castleford, victorious at Leeds on Saturday, playing host to Bradford, the beaten finalists for the last two seasons.

"If we are going to Wembley, it looks like we'll have to do it the hard way," Castleford's coach, Stuart Raper, said.

There is another all-Super League meeting at the London Broncos, where Halifax are the visitors, all of which makes Wigan even firmer favourites to recover the trophy they once made their own. They are away to the winners of the Dewsbury-Lancashire Lynx tie, which is to be re-played at New Crown Flatt tomorrow.

St Helens have reacted calmly to news from Australia that their new signing, Damien Smith, was thrown out of his previous club, St George, for turning up for training under the influence not of drink but recreational drugs.

"We were already aware of the disciplinary measures and he comes to us with a clean sheet," said Saints' chief executive, David Howes. Smith is due to arrive, complete with work permit, within three weeks.

Meanwhile, the player he replaces on Saints' overseas roster, Jamie Olejnik, is to rejoin one of his previous clubs, Manly. Olejnik failed to get a work permit, but might still join Saints next year.

Sheffield Eagles are today announcing the signing of the Great Britain prop, Steve Molloy, who has been involved in a long-running battle to leave Featherstone Rovers.

Another Great Britain prop, Leeds' Barrie McDermott, has denied a rift with the club's new coach, Graham Murray, after being substituted only 18 minutes after coming on to the field in the Challenge Cup defeat by Castleford on Saturday.

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