Rugby League: Wigan drawn against bogy team: Castleford seek to continue winning run against holders

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The Independent Online
CASTLEFORD, with two big victories over Wigan so far this season, have the best possible incentive to make it a hat-trick after being drawn to meet them in the semi-finals of the Silk Cut Challenge Cup.

Castleford beat a depleted Wigan side 46-0 in the league in October. Slightly more relevant to their third meeting at Headingley on 12 March was their 33-2 victory in the final of the Regal Trophy in January.

By way of a more hopeful precedent, Wigan, the winners of the last six Challenge Cups, can point to their victory over Castleford at Wembley two seasons ago. However, the Yorkshire side have developed into formidable opponents this season.

The second semi-final, at Central Park on 26 March, will be between St Helens and Leeds, with recent form in the Cup appearing to give Leeds, who have knocked out Warrington and Bradford Northern in the two preceding rounds, a slight edge.

Saints, beaten at Wembley three times in the last seven years, are

denying that there was any relevance in the visit of the Welsh rugby union international, Scott Gibbs, to the north west yesterday. They say they are not renewing their interest in the player.

Wigan and their quarter-final opponents, Featherstone Rovers, could face punishment for the brawl which lead to two players

being sent off on Sunday. The League is to study the referee's report before deciding whether to call the clubs in. Andy Platt of Wigan, Steve Molloy of Featherstone and his team-mate, Neil Roebuck, who was sent off later in the match, are already due to face the disciplinary committee on Thursday.

Wigan have agreed a contract with 12-year-old Daryl Lacey, who is

believed to be the youngest player to sign with a professional club.

SILK CUT CHALLENGE CUP Semi-finals: Castleford v Wigan (at Headingley, 12 March); St Helens v Leeds (at Central Park, 26 March).