Challenge Cup Semi-Finals Predictions & Tips

Dave Kuzio:
Challenge Cup

Just four teams remain in the Challenge Cup as we enter the semi-finals stage. Hull FC take on St Helens, while Castleford Tigers take on Warrington Wolves with both games taking place at the Leigh Sports Village. Get's best bets from this weekend's action in the Challenge Cup.

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Challenge Cup Semi-Finals Predictions & Tips: St Helens v Hull FC (Saturday, 14:30 BST)

St Helens and Hull lock horns for the second week running with a place in the Challenge Cup Final up for grabs. Saints were too good for the Black & Whites in Super League last weekend as they ran in six tries with Grand Final hero Jack Welsby grabbing a hat-trick. St Helens have won the Challenge Cup 12 times, but they have not lifted the famous trophy since they beat Hull FC 28-16 back in 2008. The Black and Whites have won the cup five times, and they have won it two times in the last five years. St Helens welcome back Tommy Makinson and Regan Grace following recent injuries, while Mark Percival is on the sidelines for the next two to three weeks with a hamstring problem. Hull have been rocked with the news that Joe Cator will be out with a calf strain, and coach Brett Hodgson has drafted Connor Wynne into the squad. As a Wigan fan, I never want St Helens to win, but I feel Hull don’t have the know-how to break down a fierce Saints defence on a regular basis. I expect this game to be a lot closer than last week, so I am backing Saints to reach the final with a 6-10 points margin victory.

Challenge Cup Semi-Finals Predictions & Tips: Castleford Tigers v Warrington Wolves (Saturday, 17:00 BST)

I think it’s safe to say that Castleford Tigers cannot play as poorly as they did last weekend. They were abysmal against rivals Leeds Rhinos as they conceded 11 tries in a 60-6 hammering on home soil. Tigers coach Daryl Powell was obviously fuming with what he witnessed and promised changes. He has been true to his word, and he could have up to seven players returning from injury with Michael Shenton, Oliver Holmes, Nathan Massey, Jake Trueman, Adam Milner, Niall Evalds and Gareth O’Brien all named in the squad after they missed the defeat against Leeds. Warrington were in superb form last week as they scored 10 tries in a 62-18 hammering of Salford Red Devils. Warrington have been rocked with the news that Jason Clark is out after going off injured during the win over Salford. I like the look of Warrington this season, they love to throw the ball around and Gareth Widdop looks back to his brilliant best. I expect Widdop to have another good game and guide the Wolves to their 20th Challenge Cup Final appearance.