Rugby League: Salford's hard test

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(First Edition)

THE after-effect of midweek matches in taxing conditions is likely to be a major factor in tomorrow's three Regal Trophy quarter-finals, writes Dave Hadfield.

Salford came through a tie on a mudheap at Batley on Tuesday that will have drained them rather more effectively than anything drains that poor surface. Andy Gregory and Terry O'Connor, who between them steered their side to a narrow victory, are doubtful for tomorrow's appointment against Hull.

The loss of Gregory with a knee injury would be particularly damaging against a side guided by a scrum-half with only slightly less experience and ability, Des Hasler. Bradford, at London Crusaders, are bound to feel the strain of Thursday's hard-fought win over Halifax.

Castleford got their delayed third-round tie out of the way on Monday and also face what looks like the least tricky of the tasks at home to Carlisle. Both sides will be without first-choice props. Dean Sampson stands in for the injured Castleford captain, Lee Crooks, and Duncan McCartney, the Carlisle front-rower, has been suspended after being sent off for punching during the win over Bramley in the last round.