Queens coach Scott Houston is excited for his club to be back in Rugby League’s oldest and most prestigious competition, and is looking forward to making the short trip to face Featherstone Lions at The Millpond in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup first round on Saturday (1.30pm).
It was back in 2009 that Queens last participated in the Challenge Cup and Houston is eager for his team to put their Cup football record right after losing out in the Yorkshire Cup final earlier this month.
“We’re excited to be back in the Challenge Cup, and back in the mix,” said Houston. “Featherstone we know will be a decent side, they’ve got a lot of ex-pros in there as well, so we know it’s going to be a test for us.
“At the moment we are still licking our wounds from the Yorkshire Cup final and we know we have got to correct sins in this game at the weekend and put things right.
“Our main focus is keeping the penalty count down this weekend because we know that they are a strong, physical side.
“We have had a few injuries from the Yorkshire Cup final but apart from that, the squad is looking good. We have had two new additions come into the fold this weekend so we will have a strong side out against – there will be no excuses.
“You have got to take one game at a time, there is no other way to look at it. Obviously Featherstone is our sole focus for this weekend – but hopefully we will go through, get beyond that and look at the next draw.
“But we are looking forward to it and hopefully the game will stay on, depending on the weather!”
“At this moment in time we are just happy to be back in the competition and we are just going to try and get a far as we can,” said Houston. “Obviously getting through the early stages is the key and coming up against a professional club, as an amateur side, is our main goal.
“The aim is to come up against a professional club and try and make some money for our own club, so hopefully we will beat Featherstone at the weekend and we get to the stage where we can compete with some national league sides.
“It is a very unique competition. You have got the likes of the universities, the Army, the Navy and even the Great Britain Police, so there are some really good games there so it’ll be interesting to see the resulting from those matches.”
All first round ties are to be played over the weekend of January 31 – February 1.