Leeds are set to take on St. Helens in the Challenge Cup semi-final, while Warrington will play Hull KR in the other showdown, with the the games set to be played on Friday July 31 and Saturday August 1.
Semi Final 1 – Leeds vs St. Helens
Of the two semi-finals, it is the game between the Super League champions St. Helens, and the defending Challenge Cup champions Leeds, that has the neutrals most interested in the outcome.
The two sides face one another in the Super League on Friday night, in a game which may well decide the league. Equally as important, the winner of Semi-Final 1 would surely be the favourites to win the Challenge Cup itself.
Leeds took the win when the two sides met in the league earlier in the season, but have been in a poorer run of form of late than the Saints side.
Semi Final 2 – Warrington vs Hull KR
The surprise inclusion at the semi-final stage is Hull KR, who haven’t been in this position since 2006.
The reverse can be said for Warrington, who should expect to be at this stage of the competition. Indeed, they have appeared in 4 of the previous 5 semi-finals.
Though Semi-Final 2 is not as hotly anticipated as its brother game, there is nothing to say that it is an easy win for Warrington. Equally, it would be an injustice to state that a Hull KR win would be an “upset”.
When the two sides met last weekend, the Rovers came out comfortable victors in a 36-10 win. Wire did, however, win the reverse fixture earlier in the season: a more competitive 32-24 display. The semi-final proves to be the rubber match between the two sides.
Note, however, that it may not be the last time the sides meet, as the Super 8s draw near, and both teams are in position to play in either the top or the middle Super 8s.