Super League teams into Challenge Cup - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Super League teams into Challenge Cup

06/05/2011 06:58:10 AM Comments (0)

Australian coach Ian Millward, who twice guided St Helens to Challenge Cup glory, will aim to create more rugby league history this weekend when underdogs Leigh face the top-flight Catalan Dragons.

Leigh are one of 12 lower division clubs looking to cause an upset as the Super League elite enter the tournament at the fourth round stage.

But for Leigh, relegated from Super League in 2005, the main aim is a return to the top flight.

"I'll be honest, with the position we're in at the moment, our priority has probably got to be the Northern Rail Cup and the Championship," Millward said.

"It's a matter of doing our best but there's other battles we need to win too.

"In our three warm-up games we played Salford, Warrington and Harlequins so this is our fourth game this year against a Super League team and it's good for the players because it gives them a chance to challenge themselves against Super League players.

"I'm just a bit conscious, at the back of my mind, that we make sure it's not the main focus of our season."

French club club Catalan went all the way to Wembley in 2007 and are now the form side in Super League with 11 points from their last six matches following a shaky start to the season.

"I thought at the start of the year they'd finish in the top eight and nothing has changed in regard to that," Millward said.

"I think at the start they struggled with understanding new structures but they've been very physical and they bought really well."

Cup holders Warrington begin their bid for a third straight success at home to part-timers Keighley.

Wolves boss Tony Smith, the Australia-born former Great Britain coach, knows all about Cup upsets after being in charge of a Huddersfield side sensationally knocked out by Hunslet, then two divisions below the Giants, back in 2003.

"There weren't many blacker days in my coaching career," he said. "You don't realise at the time how good they are for you in the long term. They're horribleat the time.

"We'd only just come back up into Super League, though, and I dare say it would be a darker day if it happened this week but stranger things have happened in sport and in our game.

"I don't think anybody is immune to that and we're taking this game seriously and respectfully."

However, an open draw means there could be several lopsided scores with the only all Super League fourth round tie between Leeds and the Celtic Crusaders on Saturday.

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