Newcastle Thunder will be looking for a Championship scalp on Friday night when they take on Dewsbury Rams at the Tetley’s Stadium.
Following two successive wins in League 1, Newcastle will be in good spirits ahead of their date with the Rams, who have lost all six of their matches so far this season.
In their last game, Newcastle stole victory from the jaws of defeat against London Skolars thanks to a last minute Ali Blair try which was converted by Benn Hardcastle.
Thunder will have to improve if they’re to book their place in the fifth round of the Challenge Cup as their performance against London was far from impressive. The half-back partnership of Danny Nicklas and Hardcastle will prove vital for Newcastle’s chances in all competitions this season while forwards Vincent Rennie and Liam McAvoy are two to watch out for and will be ever-presents barring injuries.
With Super League clubs coming into the cup draw over the next two rounds, there is chance of some money-spinning fixtures for Thunder if they beat Dewsbury and that should be enough motivation in itself.
Dewsbury are in a spot of bother at the moment. In a very competitive division like the Championship, there’s not much room for complacency and six straight defeats doesn’t read well for the West Yorkshire club. Coach Glenn Morrison will be eager for his side to turn their form around and a little bit of confidence may return to the team if they get past Newcastle in the cup.
The Rams have some good players in their ranks and Thunder boss Mantelli will be aware of who his players need to look out for. Josh Guzdek was a shining light last year while experienced figures such as Paul Sykes and Rob Spicer give the team some much needed leadership.
If there was one match in the fourth round which could see a League 1 team topple a Championship club, this one has to be up there alongside Toronto Wolfpack’s visit to London Broncos.