Challenge Cup brings excitement to Widnes camp

Widnes get ready to face Doncaster in the Challenge Cup this weekend, knowing that they are potentially just four games away from a date at Wembley.

It’s that format which, coach Denis Betts believes, brings the fun and excitement to the oldest cup competition in the world, with every club going in to this weekend’s fourth round fixtures believing they could go all the way.

Betts is no stranger to a Wembley cup final, having played in eight Challenge Cup finals as a player for Wigan, winning seven.

Widnes as a club too, have a fine pedigree in the competition, winning it seven times, the last of those wins coming back in 1984, although they were beaten finalists in 1993.

He said: “When you look at the Challenge Cup, you want to be out of the hat first, and whoever comes out second is a bit of a bonus.

“(The Cup) it’s always in the back of people’s minds and you talk about goals and set targets, but at the moment it’s very cliche, we’re working on week by week.

“The excitement and fun of it is in the wonder of what could happen. It’s four games and then it’s the final. That’s the beauty of it. If you can find some form and get the right draw, then who knows.

Widnes appeared in seven finals in nine years between 1974 and 1984, while Betts won seven consecutive finals from 1989 to 1995 with Wigan.

Betts added: “My experience isn’t going to help the players. I’ve played in eight finals and won seven, but I don’t think it’s going to help the players that I played in a great side.

“It’s about this team and the players that are in there, and their understanding of their roles and responsibilities day in, day out.”

Widnes host Doncaster in the Challenge Cup fourth round on Friday.

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