Defending champions Warrington are 11/4 courtesy of Totesport to retain the Challenge Cup as the competition moves to the fourth round stage this weekend. The Wolves beat Leeds 30-6 in last year’s final and, understandably, are considered a major contender for this year’s crown but it’s 2010 Grand Final winners Wigan that head the betting at 13/8 (Stan James).
The pair were both handed home draws against lower division opposition, so are expected to progress to the fifth round without much trouble and the same can be said of St Helens, who are chalked up at 9/2 by bet365 to eventually lift the trophy.
Last year’s beaten finalists Leeds are an 8/1 shot with to go one better this time around and they have to be fancied to go well, provided they can brush aside Super League counterparts Crusaders in the fourth round and be reasonably treated by subsequent draws.
However, it’s Huddersfield, ahead of a trip to neighbours Batley in round four that catch the eye, representing decent each-way value at a generous 12/1 with William Hill. The Giants, who currently lie second in the Super League table, have shown that they can beat anyone on their day, indeed they have already overcome Challenge Cup holders Warrington twice this season and as few would relish a trip to the Galpharm Stadium, it would be dangerous to overlook Nathan Brown’s charges.
Huddersfield e/w to win the Challenge Cup – 12/1 (William Hill)