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Challenge Cup: Leigh kick off title defence, Huddersfield hammer Hull

We round up all of the action from Saturday’s four matches in the sixth round of the Betfred Challenge Cup, which saw Leigh, Huddersfield, Castleford and Warrington book their quarter-final places…

Leigh Leopards 26-14 Featherstone Rovers

Holders Leigh kicked off the defence of their Betfred Challenge Cup title with a hard-earned 26-14 win over Championship side Featherstone Rovers.

A first-half hat-trick from Umlya Hanley paved the way for Adrian Lam’s side to book their place back in the last eight and keep the dream of a second consecutive Wembley trip intact.

But the visitors were far from outclassed and a pair of tries from Manoa Wacokecoke, including a length-of-the-field dash to briefly level the score at 4-4, kept the holders working overtime.

Hanley’s heroics gave Leigh a 14-4 half-time lead and although Wacokecoke’s second reduced the deficit, Josh Charnley dived in at the corner to put the Super League side firmly back in control.

Matt Moylan converted his own try midway through the second period to effectively seal victory but there was still time for Gareth Gale to cross for a late consolation for Featherstone.

Picture by John Clifton/SWpix.com - 23/03/2024 - Rugby League - Betfred Challenge Cup Round 6 - Leigh Leopards v Featherstone Rovers - Leigh Sports Village, Leigh , England -
Leigh Leopards' Umyla Hanley scores a try
Image: Hanley drives over the line

Huddersfield Giants 50-6 Hull FC

Adam Swift came back to haunt his former club as Huddersfield hammered woeful Hull FC at the John Smith’s Stadium.

Swift scored four tries in a 50-6 rout which saw the visitors concede a half-century of points for the second straight week and heaped more pressure on head coach Tony Smith.

The Giants led 20-6 at the break after Sam Halsall, Kevin Naiqama and Jack Murchie joined Swift on the scoresheet, with Jordan Lane responding for Hull.

Huddersfield stepped it up after the break as the visitors capitulated, Swift grabbing a second-half hat-trick and Halsall and Naiqama adding to their earlier efforts, while Harvey Livett also got on the scoresheet.

Six points from the boot of Tui Lolohea and four from Jake Connor completed the misery for Hull.

Batley Bulldogs 14-28 Castleford Tigers

Castleford tamed the notorious slope and near gale-force conditions at the Fox’s Biscuit Stadium to sink brave Batley and book their place in the quarter-finals.

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com - 23/03/2024 - Rugby League - Betfred Challenge Cup Round 6 - Batley Bulldogs v Castleford Tigers - Heritage Road, Batley, England - Batley's Robbie Butterworth can't prevent Castleford's Innes Senior from scoring a try.
Image: Batley’s Robbie Butterworth can’t prevent Castleford’s Innes Senior touching down

The Championship side produced a rousing first 40 minutes to reach the break on level terms, but the Super League side’s superior fitness ultimately told as they pulled away for a 28-14 win.

It ensured a happy return for Tigers head coach Craig Lingard, whose time in charge of the Bulldogs was so successful he has an area of terracing named in his honour.

Warrington Wolves 42-0 London Broncos

Matty Ashton scored a hat-trick as Warrington dealt out a 42-0 hammering to London Broncos to put themselves in the quarter-final line-up.

The hosts crossed nine times, also including a double for Josh Thewlis and further tries from Jordan Crowther, Rodrick Tai, Toby King and Matty Nicholson, as they showed no mercy after building a 24-0 half-time lead.

Six points from Stefan Ratchford completed the rout.

Watch every match of the 2024 Betfred Super League season, including Rivals Round, Magic Weekend, the play-offs, and men’s, women’s and wheelchair Grand Finals, live on Sky Sports. Also stream with NOW.

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