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Kear delighted as Bradford paired with Leeds in Challenge Cup draw

Kear delighted as Bradford paired with Leeds in Challenge Cup draw

Monday 15 April 2019

Kear delighted as Bradford paired with Leeds in Challenge Cup draw

Bradford coach John Kear got his wish after his Championship team were paired with Super League rivals Leeds in the sixth round of the Coral Challenge Cup.

Kear, who guided both Sheffield Eagles and Hull to shock Cup final victories, spoke of his desire for a big derby clash with the Rhinos in the immediate aftermath of the Bulls’ dramatic 27-26 golden-point win over Featherstone in Sunday’s fifth round tie.

And the West Yorkshire neighbours were duly paired together in the draw made by former St Helens and England forwards Paul Sculthorpe and Jon Wilkin.

Rugby League – Powergen Challenge Cup – Semi-Final – St Helens v Hull FC – Galpharm Stadium
John Kear, who coached Hull to victory over Leeds in the 2005 Challenge Cup final, will be aiming to pull off another victory over the Rhinos with Bradford (PA Images/John Giles)

“It’s a fantastic draw,” said Kear. “It’s the one we all had our fingers crossed for and we’ve been lucky enough to get it.

“It’s a nostalgic return of one of the great derbies of Super League. They were great games and obviously there is great rivalry between the cities.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better tie and, regardless of the result, we’ll make a fair amount of money from it, which is really important.”

The tie is a repeat of the 2000 and 2003 Challenge Cup finals both of which were won by Bradford. It will be their first meeting since the Bulls were last in Super League in 2014.

The outstanding tie of the last 16 pits together Warrington and Wigan in a repeat of last season’s Grand Final, which the Warriors won 12-4 at Old Trafford.

The clash, to be played on the weekend of May 11-12, comes two weeks before the sides meet again at Anfield in the opening day of Magic Weekend.

Catalans Dragons v Warrington Wolves – Ladbrokes Challenge Cup – Final – Wembley Stadium
Catalans Dragons will begin their defence of the Challenge Cup against part-timers Doncaster (PA Images/Adam Davy)

Warrington beat Wigan 23-0 at the Halliwell Jones Stadium in last season’s quarter-final on their way to the final, where they lost to Catalans Dragons.

The French club begin their defence with a home tie against League 1 part-timers Doncaster, the lowest-ranked team left in the competition.

There are three other all-Super League ties and the Championship is guaranteed a presence in the quarter-finals, with Dewsbury hosting Halifax, who knocked out Super League club London Broncos in the last round.

The sixth round pairings are: Salford v Hull KR, Dewsbury v Halifax, Warrington v Wigan, Bradford v Leeds, Hull FC v Castleford, Catalans Dragons v Doncaster, Huddersfield v St Helens, Wakefield v Widnes.

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