Halifax Panthers boss Liam Finn calls for more Challenge Cup opportunities despite humbling defeat

Halifax Panthers head coach Liam Finn has called for more Championship versus Super League clashes in the Challenge Cup despite a humbling 40-4 home defeat to Catalans Dragons.

The current format allows for only four lower-league clubs to reach the latter stages of the cup.

Part-time Halifax had to win three ties to join the 12 Super League sides in round six, where they were outclassed by the Dragons.

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"The Super League clubs should come in a round earlier, definitely," said Finn.

"I'd like to see more Championship teams get a crack at Super League opposition. It can only be beneficial for clubs at this level to get a decent crowd and income to keep them going as well as test yourself against full-time opposition.

"Sometimes you have a go and get a little bit of luck with a Super League team maybe taking it a little bit easy and run them close.

"Some teams get a crack at those that are struggling in Super League like Batley and have a go at them. There will be some blowout scores, of course there will, but these games are the magic of the cup.

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"The other Championship teams have given a good account of themselves this weekend so it would be nice to see eight or nine teams facing Super League opposition. If you're not doing that, what's the point? You might as well just get rid of the rest of the teams out of the Challenge Cup."

Liam Finn saw his Halifax side outclassed by Catalans. (Photo: Ed Sykes/SWpix.com)Liam Finn saw his Halifax side outclassed by Catalans. (Photo: Ed Sykes/SWpix.com)
Liam Finn saw his Halifax side outclassed by Catalans. (Photo: Ed Sykes/SWpix.com)

Halifax went toe to toe with St Helens in last year's competition but were blown away by the Dragons at The Shay.

Tom Davies scored a 14-minute hat-trick to set Catalans on their way to a big win and Finn's side could only respond in the final minute through James Saltonstall.

"I'm disappointed, not with the effort and commitment but the start and how we were 12 points down before we touched the ball," said Finn.

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"It was over as a contest and our bubble was burst. It took the atmosphere out of it which was perfect for them as the favourites.

"At the same time, we battled away for 80 minutes against a very good team. They showed us why they've been to two out of the last three Grand Finals and humbled us a fair bit."

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