Powell insists his Cup-hungry Tigers can cause an upset at holders Wigan

Castleford Tigers coach Daryl Powell says his side has every reason to be confident of winning at holders Wigan Warriors in the Tetley’s Challenge Cup quarter-finals.

Castleford Tigers head coach Daryl Powell. Picture James Hardisty.

They were picked out together in last night’s draw which creates a repeat of the 1992 final which the famously all-conquering Wigan side won 28-12.

Castleford have not been back to Wembley since that day and their last success in the competition was in 1986.

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Wigan are reigning Super League champions, too, but Powell’s team are one of the surprise packages of 2014 having surged up to second spot with a series of impressive wins including a 36-31 victory over Shaun Wane’s side at Wheldon Road only last month.

“Obviously, it is a tough draw as Wigan are the holders, they won everything last year and being away makes it a bit more difficult,” said the Castleford coach. “But we have beaten them the last two times we’ve played them. We won there last year and we’ve beaten them this season, so we will go with some confidence.

“We will go and play as well as we can and if we play well we have got a pretty good opportunity.”

Indeed, the ex-Great Britain international – who won the Cup as a player with Leeds Rhinos in 1999 – added: “It doesn’t hold any fears.

“It is a tough game, but if you are going to win something you have got to play in tough games.

“They are a good side and they are playing a fair bit better than they were at the start of the season, but I think they will be wary of us.

“I think it will be on TV, so it is an opportunity for us to showcase ourselves to the nation and we are looking forward to it.”

Elsewhere, favourites Leeds, for once, received a favourable tie; they host Championship side Leigh Centurions, one of two lower division clubs in the draw.

Leeds – who have lost all six finals they have featured in since that 1999 triumph – have faced Super League opponents in all but one of their previous 15 Challenge Cup ties.

Ironically, the only non-elite club they faced in that run was also Leigh who they visited at the quarter-final stage in May 2012, winning 60-12.

For all Brian McDermott’s side will be huge favourites to progress to the semi-finals, their opponents are top of the Championship with eight wins from eight matches, the only side in the professional game to still boast a 100 per cent record this term.

Regardless, this could be another great opportunity for Leeds to end their Challenge Cup hoodoo, McDermott having overseen Wembley losses in 2011 and 2012.

“It is the second time we’ve drawn them,” he said. “We played at their place last time and we remember it was a contest for a fair while.

“We have too much respect for Leigh – and more importantly, for the Challenge Cup – to take the quarter-final lightly.”

Bradford Bulls, meanwhile, have a home draw, too, but face Super League rivals Warrington Wolves who won the Cup against Huddersfield Giants in 2009 and also defeated Leeds in 2010 and 2012. The two meet at Odsal in Super League in a dress rehearsal on Sunday.

Finally, Keighley Cougars – the other Championship side in the draw – are rewarded with a potential payday at Super League Widnes Vikings.

The West Yorkshire club have only ever reached the final once which, fittingly, was also against Widnes at Wembley in 1937, a game they lost 18-5.

Ties will be played on the weekend of June 7 and 8.

Two games will be broadcast by the BBC and Sky Sports have an option for the others as sides battle it out a step further towards the Wembley final on Saturday, August 23.

Keighley’s Cup dream: Page 21