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Challenge Cup sixth round preview: Tie of the weekend set for Headingley

Super League takes another break this week as the big boys enter the Challenge Cup at the sixth-round stage and there are some juicy matches to get stuck into.

Wigan Warriors are the defending champions and they face Leeds Rhinos in arguably the tie of the round.

Catalans Dragons host league leaders Warrington Wolves in another mouth-watering match-up, while York Knights' clash with London Broncos on Sunday means there will be at least one Championship side in the quarter-finals.

Panthers unlikely to outrun the Saints

WhatHalifax Panthers v St Helens
WhereThe Shay Stadium, Halifax
When19:45, Friday 19th May
How to watchViaplay Sports 1
OddsHalifax 10/1, St Helens 1/33

St Helens are the 5/2 favourites to win the Challenge Cup and they should have little trouble progressing to the next round at the expense of Championship side Halifax Panthers.

Saints have failed to hit top gear in Super League but they should justify odds of 1/33. The Panthers have won seven of their 11 fixtures in the second tier but there is little temptation to take the 10/1 on offer, nor the 50/1 about the match finishing all square.

The Super League champions have won their last four meetings with Fax by an aggregate of 186-4, with the West Yorkshire side managing scores of zero, zero, two and two in that quarter of fixtures.

A handicap line of 26 points at 4/5 is unlikely to trouble St Helens too much, even if coach Paul Wellens chooses to rest several key men.

Wakey woe looks set to continue

WhatWakefield Trinity v Leigh Leopards
WhereBelle Vue, Wakefield
When19:45, Friday 19th May
OddsWakefield 7/2, Leigh 1/5

Wakefield Trinity have lost all 12 matches in Super League this season and it is difficult to see them getting any respite in the Challenge Cup.

These two met only a month ago and Leigh were worthy 32-0 winners.

It was the fifth time this season Wakey had been beaten to nil and they managed just six points in defeat to Hull FC last Thursday.

Trinity have scored just 77 points in their 12 fixtures this season but the handicap looks on the skinny side for this contest.

Leigh are asked to cover just 12 points at 5/6, and it's 1/1 the home side stay within that mark.

A home win is a long shot at 7/2, with an away win chalked up at 1/5. The tie is 33/1.

Bulldogs unlikely to possess enough bite

WhatHull Kingston Rovers v Batley Bulldogs
WhereCraven Park, Hull
When20:00, Friday 19th May
OddsHull KR 1/200, Batley 20/1

This is a real David v Goliath contest when Batley Bulldogs head to Hull KR.

The Robins are having a great season in Super League, flying high in third following a six-match unbeaten run. That ended in a narrow defeat at Warrington last week but Rovers should have little trouble getting back on track.

A home win is 1/200, while a shock away win is 20/1 but neither price makes any appeal.

Batley are going along nicely in the Championship, winning seven of their 11 matches but their record against KR is poor, losing the last eight meetings.

The last three have seen them concede 68, 50 and 58 points so a handicap line of 38 at 5/6 looks well within reach for Hull KR who will fancy their chances of a good cup run.

Don't rule out the Rhinos

WhatLeeds Rhinos v Wigan Warriors
WhereHeadingley, Leeds
When14:30, Saturday 20th May
How to watchBBC One & iPlayer
OddsLeeds 6/5, Wigan 4/6

Leeds Rhinos are something of a bogey side for Wigan Warriors and this could be another entertaining contest.

Leeds have won their last three against Wigan, the latest coming last Friday in a shock 40-18 win for the Rhinos at the DW Stadium.

It's 6/5 they battle past the Warriors, who are 4/6 to exact their revenge.

Leeds have won five of the last six meetings and they are handed a two-point start at 1/1 on the handicap. Wigan are asked to cover the two at 5/6, something they have failed to do since February 2022.

Wolves may be hungry for more

WhatCatalans Dragons v Warrington Wolves
WhereStade Gilbert Brutus, Perpignan, France
When17:00, Saturday 20th May
OddsCatalans Dragons 4/5, Warrington 1/1

Another all Super League glamour tie sees a rapid rematch for Catalans Dragons and Warrington Wolves, who met just over a month ago in a league fixture.

Warrington continued their impressive run of visits to the south of France with a 20-14 win and they are 21/20 to repeat the feat this week. Catalans are 5/6 to exact some revenge, while the tie is priced up at 18/1 in the 3-way market.

The Wolves have won their last two in the Dragons' den but they are handed a two-point start at 5/6 on the match handicap, with the home side 1/1 to cover the two points.

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Giants could be cut down to size

WhatSalford Red Devils v Huddersfield Giants
WhereSalford Stadium, Salford, Manchester
When19:30, Saturday 20th May
How to watchViaplay Sports 1
OddsSalford 8/15, Huddersfield 6/4

Huddersfield Giants were Challenge Cup runners-up last season but they have been way off the pace in 2023 and may struggle to reach the quarter finals.

The Giants have lost their last three but did win at Salford 26-16 earlier this season in a rare bright spot for Ian Watson's men who are 6/4 to end their losing streak.

Salford have won seven of their 12 league matches this season and are warm 8/15 favourites to win this cup tie.

The handicap line is set at four, with Salford 5/6 to chase it down and the Giants 1/1 with the start.

Tame Tigers may fall short once again

WhatCastleford Tigers v Hull FC
WhereThe Jungle, Castleford
When15:00, Sunday 21st May
How to watchBBC Two
OddsCastleford 6/4, Hull FC 8/15

Hull FC have won their last three matches and beat Castleford 32-30 in the opening round of the Super League season.

The Black & Whites have bounced back from a seven-match losing run but the Tigers have lost six of their last seven matches.

This could be close but Hull are warm favourites at 8/15, while the Tigers are 6/4 to spring a surprise.

The hosts get a four-point start at 1/1, with FC 5/6 to cover.

Broncos will need to buck the trend

WhatYork City Knights v London Broncos
WhereYork Community Stadium, York
When15:00, Sunday 21st May
OddsYork City Knights 4/9, London Broncos 7/4

We are guaranteed at least one Championship representative in the next round and York City Knights are expected to be in the hat.

They are 4/9 favourites to see off second-tier rivals London Broncos, who are 7/4 shots.

It's 5/6 York cover a six-point handicap, while the Broncos get the start at 1/1, but they haven't beaten the Knights in four meetings, although this fixture is often a close-run contest.

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