Ladbrokes Challenge Cup semi-finals Preview

Challenge Cup holders Hull FC look to defend the trophy for the first time in their history as they take on Leeds Rhinos at the Keepmoat Stadium.

The other semi-final at the Halliwell Jones Stadium sees Wigan take on local-rivals Salford.

Hull  have made a very strong defence of their title thus far, beating Catalans and runaway Super League leaders Castleford on their way back to the last four.

Leeds are in Hull’s way, and The Rhinos have a great recent record having won the trophy the two previous years before Hull took the trophy last year.

Leeds have enjoyed an uneventful ride to the semis, having only faced lower-league opposition – enjoying victories over Doncaster, Barrow and Featherstone.

The other semi pits Wigan – the most successful side in Challenge Cup history, with 20 wins to their name – against Salford, who have only ever won the biggest cup in Rugby League once, back in 1938.

Wigan have beaten Swinton and Warrington to book their place in the last four, whilst Salford – who will hand debuts to Manu Vatuvei and Tyrone McCarthy in the clash – have come past Toronto, Hull KR and Wakefield.

Hull FC v Leeds Rhinos
Saturday, 29 July Kick-off: 14:30, Keepmoat Stadium 

Match odds: Hull 5/6 Tie 18/1 Leeds 11/10
Ladbrokes pick: Leeds have won the last seven meetings and they can make it a magnificent eight on their way to Wembley. That said, winning margins have been modest with two of the last three meetings settled by five points or less. Leeds to win by 1-5 points 11/2.

Wigan v Salford
Sunday, 30 July Kick-off: 14:30, Halliwell Jones Stadium


Match odds: Wigan 4/11 Tie 25/1 Salford 5/2
Ladbrokes pick: The Red Devils have been rank of late and we fully expect Wigan to run riot in this semi-final clash. The Warriors have won three of their last four with each of those victories coming by 16 points or more. Back Shaun Wane’s men to breeze to victory. Wigan -14 11/8.


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