The Sportsman will bring exclusive, live and free coverage of the Betfred Challenge Cup third round blockbuster between Featherstone Rovers and Halifax Panthers on Sunday March 12th – live on their dedicated YouTube Rugby League channel (The Sportsman Rugby League – YouTube).
The tie will kick off at 3pm from Featherstone’s Millennium Stadium, as the early-season Betfred Championship pacesetters take on one of the teams most fancied to challenge them for promotion in 2023.
Both clubs and teams are packed with Challenge Cup pedigree. Featherstone’s coach Sean Long is the only man to have won the Lance Todd Trophy three times, having been named Man of the Match in the Challenge Cup Finals of 2001, 2004 and 2006. His assistant Leon Pryce shared the award with Paul Wellens in 2007, and the Challenge Cup is even more special to the Featherstone club in 2023 as they celebrate significant anniversaries of two of their three Cup wins – 40 years on from their famous Wembley triumph over Hull FC in 1983, and 50 since they beat Bradford Northern in 1973.
But Halifax also have more recent Wembley pedigree, having claimed the last of their fifth Challenge Cup wins in 1987 when John Pendlebury’s famous cover tackle on Mark Elia secured a 19-18 triumph against St Helens – with Graham Eadie winning the Lance Todd Trophy. They were back at Wembley the following year, going down 32-12 to Wigan in the first of their eight consecutive Cup wins.
In addition to aiming to progress to the Fourth Round of the Betfred Challenge Cup, both clubs will have the additional incentive of keeping alive their second opportunity to reach Wembley this summer, in the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup – with Featherstone aiming for a third consecutive appearance in the Final, having beaten York at Wembley in 2021 then lost to Leigh at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last year.
The four teams who qualify for the Sixth Round of the Betfred Challenge Cup, when they are joined in that competition by the 12 Super League clubs, will also qualify for the Semi Finals of the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup.