Siddal primed for Challenge Cup test against Toronto

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Siddal face a “mountain” of a Challenge Cup test when they host League 1 big spenders Toronto Wolfpack at Chevinedge on Saturday (1.0).

The newly-formed Canadian side, who are expected to blitz their way through the professional game’s third tier this year, will make their competitive debut against Gareth Greenwood’s National Conference winning amateurs.

Siddal played two League 1 sides in last season’s tournament, eliminating Newcastle Thunder on home soil and challenging Rochdale at Spotland in the following round, but Greenwood concedes the hurdle presented by Paul Rowley’s star-studded line up - whose UK base is Brighouse Sports Club - is of a different magnitude altogether.

“If we’re being honest, you look at it and it’s a mountain for us to climb if we want to compete with them,” said Greenwood.

“We’ve beaten part time professional teams before, but no amateur team has ever beaten a full time professional team and there’s a reason for that.

“They’ve been full time since September and probably spent close to £1million; we’ve been training for three weeks and we spend nothing.

“If I’d had my lads in full time since September I’d fancy it, because we know we’ve got some good players, but that difference is strength and fitness is a gulf and we need to see how good we are at bridging it.

“It will be a big occasion, and I’m expecting a big crowd; I wondered before the draw what it would take to really give our players a new challenge and get them excited, but I think this draw has done that.

“We’ll go out there and get stuck in and give it our best shot.”

Siddal, who will feature in BBC Sport’s live web coverage for a second successive round, will welcome back forwards Canaan Smithies and George Ambler, who both missed the win at Pilkington’s in round two, while the former Halifax back Joe Martin should make his second appearance.

“We’ve got some decisions to make and there are some lads going to miss out,” said Greenwood, who concedes that his team’s performance on camera in round two is going to count against them.

“We played well in that game and it means we don’t even have the element of surprise.

“They’ll have done their homework, watched the video and they’ll be coming to show how good they are.

“From what I’ve heard out of Halifax and Huddersfield, who’ve both trained against them, they’re at the level of the top Championship teams already.

“They’ll want to come and win by 80 points, not by 20.

“We need to stay with them in the first 10 minutes, then we can try and make it interesting.”