Challenge Cup: Craig Lingard to return to Batley Bulldogs with struggling Castleford Tigers, Featherstone Rovers to face holders Leigh Leopards and Halifax Panthers at home to Super League’s Catalans Dragons as sixth round draw produces intriguing ties

The sixth round draw for the Challenge Cup has produced some mouthwatering ties with Craig Lingard set to return to Batley Bulldogs with his struggling Castleford Tigers, while Featherstone Rovers and Halifax Panthers also face Super League opposition.
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The Bulldogs will certainly be sniffing for a cup upset at the Fox’s Biscuit Stadium later this month against a Cas side which are currently joint bottom of Super League having lost their opening four games of the 2024 season.

And while Lingard had success at Batley from 2020 to 2023, including leading the club to a first Wembley final in their 143-year history last August, new head coach Mark Moxon can’t wait to “have a crack” at the out-of-sorts Tigers.

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He said: “We are looking forward to it. It is something we can get our teeth into. You never know what can happen, as we saw at Featherstone yesterday because Wakefield are a Super League standard team.

The sixth round draw of the Challenge Cup has been made. Photo by John Victor.The sixth round draw of the Challenge Cup has been made. Photo by John Victor.
The sixth round draw of the Challenge Cup has been made. Photo by John Victor.

“It’s a good draw. A few people had mentioned it before the draw. It’s great that it’s come out of the hat. I think Linners and Cas will be under pressure and will be more worried about the fixture than we are.

“We have nothing to lose. We can go into it and have a crack. A few wins under our belts and that confidence and momentum is massive. It will be nice to challenge myself against Linners.”

Featherstone’s reward for beating local rivals Wakefield in golden point extra time, 14-10 thanks to Gareth Gale’s try, is a trip to the holders Leigh Leopards.

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For the second season running, Halifax Panthers welcome Super League opposition to The Shay in the form of Catalans Dragons who have won three out of their four league games so far.

Halifax’s head coach Liam Finn said: “You always hope to get a Super League team and a decent crowd and a little bit of money for the club. It’s a chance for us to challenge ourselves as a team. It’s a win-win. It’s nice to challenge ourselves against a Super League team.

“It’s a harsh reality that only four teams get through to have a chance of playing a Super League team which is disappointing.

“But we’re there and we’ve got a Super League challenge.”

St Helens, who beat Fax in last season’s edition of the Challenge Cup, will travel to Headingley for a titanic battle with Leeds Rhinos.

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Elsewhere, the fourth Championship side in the draw, Sheffield Eagles, will travel to Wigan Warriors, while Huddersfield Giants host Hull FC, Warrington will welcome London Broncos and last year’s beaten finalists Hull KR will entertain Salford.

Ties to be played March 22-24.