The teams from the far north, Workington Town and Newcastle Thunder, are through to the second round of the new 1895 Cup, which will be streamed live on the Our League app and the RFL’s Facbook page from 6pm tomorrow.
Town won 31-28 at Hunslet and Thunder beat Keighley Cougars 38-12 at home in today’s (Sat) first-round ties.
The first round continues tomorrow (Sun) when Oldham entertain Whitehaven at the Vestacare Stadium (3pm) and Doncaster are at home to West Wales Raiders.
The winners of each of those ties join Workington and Newcastle in the hat for round two plus Sheffield Eagles, Bradford Bulls, Leigh Centurions, York City Knights, Featherstone Rovers, Halifax, Batley Bulldogs, Dewsbury Rams, Swinton Lions, Barrow Raiders, Rochdale Hornets and Widnes Vikings.
Oldham go into a finely-balanced tie with Betfred League 1 leaders Whitehaven, whose only league defeat so far was at the Vestacare Stadium in February.
The Cumbrians boast the best defensive record in League 1, having conceded only 118 points in seven games, ten fewer than the next best who, surprisingly, are eighth-placed North Wales Crusaders.
The top five defensive sides, in this order, are Whitehaven (118), North Wales (128), Hunslet (130), Keighley Cougars (132) and Oldham (134).
Interestingly, Scott Naylor’s men have scored more points than any of their rivals with a seven-game total of 236, boosted by last week’s 72 at West Wales Raiders.
With 157, Whitehaven are not even in the top five, which are Oldham (236), Newcastle (228), Hunslet (218), Keighley (212) and Workington (198).
Tomorrow’s tie at the Vestacare, therefore, pits League 1’s top scorers against the division’s best defenders in a knock-out competition with Wembley as the ultimate goal.
It should be a fascinating contest and one not to be missed by Roughyeds fans, who will see Danny Langtree and Danny Bridge back in the second-row together for the first time since last July.