Up for the Cup: Quarter Finals

The Powergen Challenge Cup is now at the semi-final stage after a quarter-finals that offered all the thrills and spills that we readily associate with the famous old competition.

 

At least – one game offered those thrills and spills; the rollercoaster ride that was Hull Kingston Rovers' 40-36 upset over Warrington Wolves was a perfect showcase for cup football, and the reward for the Robins is a plum tie with St Helens.

 

Byron Ford was the man who made the most telling contribution to this win, crossing for a hat-trick of tries that were crucial given the closeness of the final score.

 

But it could have been oh so different early on; when Logan Swan touched down twice in quick succession for the visitors it looked as though it would be Warrington and not Rovers who would book their place in the semis.

 

Hull KR had other ideas – Ben Cockayne, Jon Goddard, Makali Aizue and Ford all scored to give the hosts a half time lead.

 

When Ford added two more to complete his hat-trick it looked as though the game was sealed in favour of the LHF National League One side, but in fact the drama was far from over.

 

The Wolves came back into the game with a try from Michael Sullivan and a brace from Henry Fa'afili; but despite the tension that was not quite enough to overtake the Rovers' hard-won lead.

 

Hull KR will face St Helens in the semis after the Knowsley Road side handed down a lesson in rugby league to Catalan side Les Catalans Dragons.

 

The Catalans made their way to the quarters with a win over injury-hit Widnes Vikings but could not get past the Saints; who scored ten tries in this rout, three coming from Ade Gardner.

 

Further tries came from Sean Long, Jon Wilkin, Leon Pryce, Jamie Lyon and Vinnie Anderson with Paul Anderson grabbing a brace; the Dragons could only respond with tries from Stacey Jones and Justin Murphy.

 

Harlequins made a decent fist of their quarter-final tie at Leeds Rhinos, before succumbing to a 36-18 defeat.

 

The game was scoreless until 32 minutes when Willie Poching opened the scoring for the home side; quickly followed up by a Danny Williams try to put Leeds 12-0 up at the interval.

 

Danny McGuire and Scott Donald (2) increased the lead despite tries from Luke Dorn and Michael Worrincy straight after the interval.

 

Williams became the third hat-trick scorer of the round with two tries after the break that broke the Quins resistance; Pat Weisner and Tyrone Smith adding consolations scores for the visitors.

 

Leeds will take on Huddersfield in the second semi-final after the Giants eased past Salford City Reds with a 44-14 win.

 

The Reds took an early lead through Aaron Moule Chris Nero and Robbie Paul both touched down twice along with a score from Martin Aspinwall to tilt the game in Huddersfield's direction.

 

David Hodgson scored a brace for the visitors (no hat-tricks in this game) but Paul March followed suit; and that, along with a try from Brad Drew, concluded the encounter.

 

The semi-finals will be an interesting affair; the runaway NL1 leaders taking on the runaway engage Super League leaders, while the Giants may fancy their chances of upsetting Leeds.

 

Whoever makes in to Twickenham, it's going to be a final to remember.

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