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Challenge Cup: Saturday’s quarter-final talking points and 21-man squads | Rugby League News

Hull FC head coach Brett Hodgson was a Challenge Cup winner with Warrington in 2012

We look at what’s being said ahead of a repeat of two recent Super League match-ups in Saturday’s Challenge Cup quarter-finals as Hull FC take on Wigan Warriors and Castleford Tigers tackle Salford Red Devils…

Hull FC vs Wigan Warriors (2.30pm)

A week after their close-fought Super League encounter, Hull FC and Wigan go head-to-head again on Saturday afternoon – this time for a place in the Challenge Cup semi-finals.

Both teams are coached by former Cup winners, with Adrian Lam being part of the Warriors’ 2002 triumph at Murrayfield and Brett Hodgson having put in a Lance Todd Trophy-winning performance to help Warrington Wolves lift the trophy at Wembley in 2012.

Cherry and Whites coach Lam admitted they held something back in last week’s 16-14 win over Hull and will be unleashing a different game plan in the first game of Saturday’s double-header at Headingley.

“We didn’t want to over-coach them and give away too much information because this is the bigger week, obviously,” Lam said.

“We’ve got a better feel of who they are as a team, we have a certain game plan, and so will they.

“But at the same time, when you play the same side back-to-back, you need to make sure you don’t show your hand in the first one.”

3:28
Highlights as Wigan Warriors maintained their unbeaten start to the 2021 Super League season with a win over Hull FC

Highlights as Wigan Warriors maintained their unbeaten start to the 2021 Super League season with a win over Hull FC

Last Thursday’s Super League match was overshadowed by an allegation of racist abuse against Wigan’s Tony Clubb, who is unavailable for this game as he begins an eight-match suspension after being found guilty of abusing Andre Savelio.

Also banned is Hull’s influential full-back Jake Connor, serving a one-match suspension for a high tackle on Zak Hardaker in that game. However, the Black and Whites do welcome back Josh Reynolds to the squad after the half-back recovered from an injury which curtailed his strong start to the 2021 season.

Hodgson, who was also a beaten Challenge Cup finalist with Huddersfield Giants in 2009, believes Hull showed enough in last Thursday’s match-up with the 2020 Super League Grand Final runners-up to show they can compete with them on a consistent basis.

“We weren’t good enough in elements to win that game, but we did show that we’re good enough to put up a fight against those top teams,” Hodgson said.

“Even with our performance, we could have snuck away with a win and that says where we’re at.

“We processed the game pretty well. We were close so small improvements this week may give us the chance to get a result this time around.”

Named squads

Hull FC: Carlos Tuimavave, Josh Griffin, Mahe Fonua, Josh Reynolds, Danny Houghton, Chris Satae, Andre Savelio, Manu Ma’u, Ligi Sao, Jordan Johnstone, Joe Cator, Jordan Lane, Ben McNamara, Jack Brown, Adam Swift, Connor Wynne, Cameron Scott, Jude Ferreira, Mitieli Vulikjapani, Harvey Barron.

Wigan Warriors: Bevan French, Dom Manfredi, Zak Hardaker, Brad Singleton, Sam Powell, Joe Bullock, Willie Isa, Liam Farrell, John Bateman, Oliver Partington, Morgan Smithies, Liam Byrne, Harry Smith, Ethan Havard, Jake Bibby, Mitch Clark, Joe Shorrocks, Sam Halsall, James McDonnell, Umyla Hanley, Jackson Hastings.

Castleford Tigers vs Salford Red Devils (5.30pm)

4:19
Highlights as Castleford Tigers returned to winning ways with victory away to Salford Red Devils in Super League

Highlights as Castleford Tigers returned to winning ways with victory away to Salford Red Devils in Super League

When Daryl Powell brings his eight years as Castleford head coach to a conclusion at the end of the 2021 season, he would dearly love to have done so with at least one of the game’s major honours in the bag.

Although he guided the Tigers to Super League’s League Leaders’ Shield in 2017, his two final appearances with the club so far – that year’s Grand Final and the 2014 Challenge Cup final – have both ended in defeat.

Castleford have not lifted the Cup since 1986 and while Powell admits there are certain aspects of their preparation he would change from their Wembley appearance seven years ago, he believes the squad are much better placed to push for honours than that 23-10 loss to Leeds Rhinos.

“We had a lot of players playing in their first final and we didn’t really play as well as we’d have wanted to,” Powell said.

“But this is a different team with a different mindset, different qualities in there.

“We just want to get there and show what we can do, play to our potential – that’s the main thing when you get into a final.”

The Tigers beat the Red Devils 28-18 in Super League last week but are without Cheyse Blair and Greg Eden from that match. However, George Griffin, Gareth O’Brien, Dan Smith and Jordan Turner all come back into contention.

Salford have Elijah Taylor, Ryan Lannon, Pauli Pauli and Dan Sarginson available again, although Andy Ackers is missing after injuring his ankle in training, and head coach Richard Marshall is confident last year’s Challenge Cup runners-up will only need to make minor tweaks for this clash.

“We’re not going to change too much,” Marshall, whose side beat Widnes Vikings 68-4 in the third round, said. “Obviously we’d like to do a better job on their key individuals.

“But let’s be honest, we didn’t feel there was too much between the two teams. We’ve just got to compete for the full 80 minutes.”

Named squads

Salford Red Devils: Ken Sio, Kallum Watkins, Tui Lolohea, Kevin Brown, Lee Mossop, Seb Ikahihifo, Ryan Lannon, Pauli Pauli, Elijah Taylor, Danny Addy, Ollie Roberts, Greg Burke, Chris Atkin, Elliot Kear, Harvey Livett, James Greenwood, Rhys Williams, Dan Sarginson, Jack Ormondroyd, Darcy Lussick, Dec Patton.

Castleford Tigers: Niall Evalds, Derrell Olpherts, Peter Mata’utia, Michael Shenton, Jake Trueman, Danny Richardson, Liam Watts, Paul McShane, Grant Millington, Oliver Holmes, Adam Milner, Nathan Massey, George Griffin, James Clare, Jesse Sene-Lefao, Daniel Smith, Jordan Turner, Lewis Bienek, Lewis Peachey, Brad Martin, Gareth O’Brien.

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