Ian Golden looks at the third round of the men’s Betfred Challenge Cup and how our Welsh international players and hopefuls performed…
Rhys Williams reached 199 career tries on Sunday as he scored two for his new club Swinton Lions. His second try was his 166th in domestic rugby league in English competitions. He’s also scored 22 for Wales and 11 for Central Queensland Capras in the Queensland Cup. Gavin Bennion also starred for Swinton in their 50-6 win over West Hull. Rhodri Lloyd and Mike Butt have recently moved from Swinton to Widnes Vikings. Lloyd was amongst the try scorers in their large win over Doncaster. Matty Fozard and Anthony Walker were also in the Widnes side.
— Swinton Lions RLFC (@Swinton_Lions) February 11, 2024
Jude Ferreira was on the scoresheet for Hunslet in their match, but in couldn’t prevent a narrow defeat to Keighley Cougars, for whom Billy Walkley starred in what was his second professional career first-team appearance after making his debut a fortnight ago. Another Wales U19 international George Birch scored for Newcastle Thunder as they lost to Sheffield Eagles, whilst Chester Butler and Owain Abel scored for Bradford Bulls and North Wales Crusaders respectively as their teams faced each other with the Bulls coming out winners. Ben Evans was also in the Crusaders side.
Connor Davies helped his new side Halifax Panthers through to the fourth round after they easily beat Whitehaven. However his twin brother Curtis Davies wasn’t so fortunate. His Dewsbury Rams side lost out at home to York Knights to a last-minute try in a low-scoring thriller that was streamed live on The Sportsman. Craig Kopczak also moved clubs in the winter, and his Oldham side were winners at Barrow Raiders. Kopczak’s former club Featherstone Rovers, starring Caleb Aekins, showed no mercy in their 72-0 thrashing of Thatto Heath Crusaders, Rochdale Hornets just edged out Midlands Hurricanes, who featured Sam Bowring, and there was an all-Welsh match officials line-up at Cornwall with Kristoff Young refereeing in a brutal encounter in the mud where York Acorn ended up close winners. Harry Boots, Jake Lloyd and Matt Ross were all in the Cornwall side.