Three stories to look out for in Ladbrokes Challenge Cup third round

21st February 2017, 18:38


Three stories to look out for in Ladbrokes Challenge Cup third round



Former Cougars captain faces old club

Former Keighley Cougars captain Paul Handforth will be looking to help orchestrate a huge upset as he pulls on the colours of Fryston Warriors against his old club.

The 35-year-old retired from the professional game last season, but not before winning the Man of the Match award as the Cougars enjoyed a memorable League 1 Cup win at the Summer Bash last May.

Featherstone Rovers will host the game between Fryston and Keighley

Paul Handforth led Keighley Cougars to League 1 Cup success last season

The halfback made his Fryston debut in the Warriors' 40-12 win at London Chargers in round two of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup.

Featherstone Rovers' BigFellas Stadium will host the match.

It's a huge affair for the eighth-division club, so much so that the Pennine League have given clubs the option of a 'free weekend' to support the winter competition's reigning champions.

An eighth-division side WILL be in the Challenge Cup fourth round!

An eighth-division team is guaranteed a place in the Challenge Cup fourth round for the first time ever, as North West Men's League champions Haydock travel to London to face Wests Warriors, the London Men's League champions.

Though a team from outside the National Conference League has achieved the feat before, no team from outside the NCL has progressed beyond the third round since the NCL was expanded to four divisions in 2012.

Wests Warriors won the Harry Jepson Trophy last year

Haydock were crowned North West Men's League champions in 2016

Wests beat Great Britain Police 40-22 in round one, before stealing the round two show with a shock 26-0 demolition of NCL Division 1's Featherstone Lions away from home.

Equally impressive Haydock stunned NCL Premier Division Wath Brow Hornets 17-4 on the road in round one, before they entertained a record crowd of over 500 on home turf as they beat BARLA National Cup winners Thornhill Trojans 30-20 in round two.

Toronto's first competitive match

The first-ever major professonal transatlantic sports team will make their bow on Saturday as they head to Siddal for their first-ever competitive match.

Having put up a fight against 2016 Challenge Cup winners Hull FC in a 26-20 friendly defeat last month, the new Kingstone Press League 1 side come into the game as overwhelming favourites.

Fuifui Moimoi is set to be part of the Toronto squad against Siddal

Siddal thrashed Newcastle Thunder at the same stage of the Cup last year


Amongst their ranks are NRL icon Fuifui Moimoi, two-time Super League Grand Finalist Andrew Dixon and 2005 Challenge Cup winner Richard Whiting.

The game will be streamed live on the BBC Sport website, kicking off at 1pm, where Siddal will be hoping for a repeat of their heroics at this stage of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup last season, when they outplayed eventual League 1 Shield winners Newcastle Thunder, 30-4.

2017 Ladbrokes Challenge Cup third round ties:

West Hull v Whitehaven
Hemel Stags v London Skolars
Fryston Warriors v Keighley Cougars
University of Gloucestershire All Golds v North Wales Crusaders
Newcastle Thunder v Workington Town
Doncaster v Myton Warriors
Siddal v Toronto Wolfpack
Barrow Raiders v Rochdale Mayfield
York City Knights v Egremont Rangers
South Wales Ironmen v Oxford
Hunslet v Coventry Bears
Wests Warriors v Haydock

Tickets for the 2017 Ladbrokes Challenge Cup final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday, August 26 can be purchased by calling the Rugby League Ticket Office on 0844 856 1113 or by visiting