Hawks can keep cup dream alive

Paul March is urging his Hunslet Hawks players to keep their Carnegie Challenge Cup dream alive when they play Barrow Raiders in a fifth round tie on Sunday.

The former Huddersfield and Wakefield half-back is convinced the Co-operative Championship One leaders can get the better of the current Championship champions at Craven Park.

“It is knockout football and whoever turns up with the right attitude and plays smart will win,” said March.

“I don’t see why we cannot do to Barrow what they did to Castleford in the last round and beat a side who are favourites.

“As long as we are still in the competition the dream is still alive. Hopefully, if we win, the draw will be kind to us in the quarter-finals.”

March was part of the Huddersfield squad that reached the 2006 Challenge Cup final but had his own dream ruined by injury.

He said: “I got injured in the game after the quarter-finals and didn’t play in either the semi-final or the final.

“But I enjoyed going to the final with the team. It is such a big occasion and is everyone’s dream to play in a final.

“Everybody wants to play in this competition because it’s the best in the world. We want to stay in it for as long as possible”

The notion of a possible quarter-final place is almost the stuff of fantasies to a club that has been through the mill in recent years.

Years of battling just to stay alive now look like being rewarded under the new leadership of March, following his appointment midway through last season.

He has brought in players with Super League experience like twin brother David, Waine Pryce and Tom Haughey.

Combined with that, he’s got promising youngsters such John Oates, Stuart Kain and David Clayton on board.

March said: “I have deliberately tried to get a mix of experience and youth. It’s vital to have players who’ve experienced Super League so that they can control the young ones, calm them down and get them to play rugby at the right times.

“The club has had some bad times over the years so to have a winning team now is tremendous.

“We are scoring a lot of tries and hopefully we can continue to do that.”

Disappointment at not drawing a big name club has been tempered by the real belief that the Hawks can beat Barrow.

But March insists he is wary of Barrow and will be warning his players not to under-estimate the Raiders.

He said: “Barrow won the title last year and if there had been promotion they would be a Super League club now.

“We know it is going to be a massive test and it’s a problem having to travel so far for the game.

“But we know we are capable of winning. It is achievable and then we might get one of the big names in the next round.”

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