Rugby League

Challenge Cup

18 May 2023

Betfred Challenge Cup Preview | Sixth Round

Betfred Challenge Cup Preview | Sixth Round

Round Six of the Betfred Challenge Cup is here. The four remaining Championship clubs have been joined by all 12 Betfred Super League teams. Here is a look at all eight fixtures taking place this weekend.

Halifax Panthers welcome the current Super League and World Champions, St Helens. Simon Grix’s side have made The Shay a difficult place to visit in 2023. The Panthers have won eight of nine matches at home this season, with their one defeat coming against Bradford Bulls in the Championship. However, Halifax have since got their revenge with an impressive 26-0 home win over the Bulls in Round Five of the cup.

A key threat for Halifax this season has been Lachlan Walmsley. The winger has 18 league tries this season.

St Helens will be looking for their 16th victory in a row against Halifax when the sides meet in front of the Viaplay cameras.

The two sides met four years ago in the Challenge Cup Semi-Final, with St Helens coming out 26-2 victors.

Paul Wellens has named a strong squad and won’t be taking the Panthers lightly. Morgan Knowles returns after a five-game ban. James Roby broke the St Helens appearance record last weekend; he will not feature on Friday night.

Wakefield Trinity will be hoping to kickstart their 2023 season, as they welcome Leigh Leopards to the Be Well Support Stadium.

Mark Applegarth’s side are yet to register a win, however, they will be looking for a change in fortune in this competition.

Luke Gale will have to wait at least another week, before making his Trinity debut. Gale is cup-tied after featuring for Keighley Cougars in the last round against Batley Bulldogs.

Leigh Leopards have impressed in 2023 and will be looking to continue their good form.

The Leopards have already beaten Trinity this season at the Be Well Support Stadium. Josh Charnley scored a double during the 32-0 win. Charnley is currently the top scorer in Super League with 14 tries, that is two more than any other players.

Leigh defeated Wakefield when the sides last met in the Challenge Cup. Ollie Wilkes scored a 73rd minute try as Leigh defeated Wakefield in Sixth Round back in 2015.

Tom Lineham could make his 250th career appearance. Lineham has made 10 appearances for Wakefield.

The final match on Friday sees Championship side, Batley Bulldogs travel to East Yorkshire to face Super League side, Hull KR.

Craig Lingard’s side reached the Championship Grand Final in 2022, before losing to Leigh.

Batley have defeated Wath Brow Hornets, Hunslet ARLFC and Keighley Cougars on their way to the Sixth Round. In the Championship, Batley sit fifth with seven wins from their 11 matches.

Hull KR will be looking to avoid defeat to a lower league side, which the Robins have previously suffered. Back in 2016, Oldham travelled to face the Robins and left with the 36-22 victory.

Willie Peters’ side have been one of the strongest sides in Super League this season. The Robins sit third with eight wins from their 12 matches.

Hull KR have won their last seven home meetings with Batley.

The meeting on Friday will be the first Challenge Cup clash between the sides since 1965.

The two most successful Challenge Cup sides will meet live on the BBC on Saturday afternoon.

The 20-time winners, Wigan Warriors will travel to Headingley to face the 14 times winners, Leeds Rhinos.

Leeds came from behind last weekend, despite having Zane Tetevano sent off to defeat Wigan at the DW Stadium.

Leeds have won the previous three league meetings and the last two Challenge Cup meetings.

The last time Wigan defeated Leeds in the Cup was the 2011 Final.

Matt Peet’s side will be looking to bounce back from their performance last week.

Despite that, the Warriors have been one of the best sides this season as they occupy second spot.

Wigan left it late in 2022 with a Liam Marshall try snatching the Challenge Cup away from Huddersfield Giants.

Catalans Dragons will face Warrington Wolves in a repeat of the 2018 Final.

The Dragons made history in 2018 as they defeated Warrington which meant Catalans lifted the Challenge Cup for the very first time.

Catalans currently sit fourth and will be hoping they can take advantage of playing at home.

Warrington have had a pretty successful 2023 so far. The Wolves sit top of the table and have already defeated Catalans in the South of France.

After losing to the Dragons in 2018, Warrington went one better in 2019 by beating St Helens in the final.

Gil Dudson has been named in the squad, Dudson last featured in the victory at Catalans, but he was dismissed during that fixture.

Salford and Huddersfield will meet in the Challenge Cup for the first time since 2007.

The Red Devils went close to lifting the cup in 2020, however, they fell just short due to a Luke Gale drop-goal. Salford head coach at the time was Ian Watson, who is now in charge of the Giants.

Salford have lost the only meeting this season, but they did win the final two meetings of 2022.

Kallum Watkins has scored on his previous three matches with Huddersfield.

Huddersfield will be looking to go one better this season after suffering a late defeat to Wigan in the Challenge Cup Final.

The Giants will be looking for a second victory of the season against Salford, with the previous match also played at the Salford Stadium.

Huddersfield have won their last two cup meetings, with victories in 2007 and 2006.

The fixture will be shown live on Viaplay Sports.

Castleford Tigers will welcome Hull FC to the Mend-A-Hose Jungle on Sunday.

The Tigers will be looking to kickstart their campaign and they will be hoping to lift the cup for the first time 1986.

Castleford defeated Hull FC on both meetings last season, however, they did suffer an opening round defeat.

Hull FC have won their last five Challenge Cup meetings with Castleford, including two at the Sixth Round stage.

Tony Smith’s side have had a mixed season so far. The Black and Whites won their first two matches, but then suffered seven straight defeats. The East Yorkshire side come into this fixture off the back of three consecutive wins.

Sunday’s match will see Jake Trueman return to his former club. Trueman suffered an injury whilst playing for Castleford, which ruled him out of the opening ten Super League rounds.

The final match of the weekend will see two Championship sides battle it out. York Knights and London Broncos will both be looking to book their place in the last eight.

York got the better of London when the sides met two weeks ago.

In recent meetings, York have had the measure on London, however, the last three matches have all been won by the Knights and by a margin of two points.

York have beaten West Bowling, Sheffield Eagles and Newcastle Thunder to reach the Sixth Round.

London are hoping to overturn the earlier meeting with York when they meet.

The Broncos have won four matches this season, which sees them sit 10th in the Championship.

London have defeated Whitehaven, Doncaster and Dewsbury on their way to the Sixth Round.


Round Six Fixtures:


  • Halifax Panthers v St Helens – 7:45PM – Live on Viaplay Sports
  • Wakefield Trinity v Leigh Leopards – 7:45PM
  • Hull KR v Batley Bulldogs – 8PM



  • Leeds Rhinos v Wigan Warriors – 2:30PM – Live on BBC One
  • Catalans Dragons v Warrington Wolves – 5PM BST
  • Salford Red Devils v Huddersfield Giants – 7:30PM – Live on Viaplay Sports



  • Castleford Tigers v Hull FC – 3PM – Live on BBC Two
  • York Knights v London Broncos – 3PM