2009 Challenge Cup

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2009 Carnegie Challenge Cup
2009 Challenge Cup
Duration 9 Rounds
Highest attendance 76,560
Broadcast partners United Kingdom BBC Sport
Winners Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Wolves
Runners-up Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield
Biggest home win Fevcolours.svg Featherstone Rovers 94-2
The Army
Biggest away win Batley colours.svg Batley Bulldogs 4-66
Redscolours.svg Salford City Reds
Lance Todd Trophy Wolvescolours.svg Michael Monaghan
< 2008 Seasons 2010 >

The 2009 Carnegie Challenge Cup began in January 2009. The Challenge Cup is the most prestigious knock-out competition in European rugby league. Teams from England, Scotland, Wales, France and Russia are included in the tournament.

Teams from the Co-operative Championship received byes into round three along with four teams from France, and the winner of the Russian Championship. Teams from the Super League enter in round four.

The final was held on 29 August 2009 and Warrington Wolves beat Huddersfield Giants 25-16.

For 2009, the early stages of the competition have been revamped. As the competition has expanded, there is now a preliminary round before the first round, and teams have been placed into two 'pools' for the preliminary, first and second rounds.

Pools[edit]

Pool A features 48 teams, made up as follows:

  • The 40 teams from the National Conference League
  • The winners of the five major BARLA Regional Leagues
  • The winners of the three major BARLA Regional Cup Competitions - Yorkshire, North West & Cumberland

Pool B features 16 teams, which is a mixed bag of Rugby League Conference teams (including representatives from Scotland and Wales), armed forces representative teams and University teams.

Preliminary round[edit]

Pool A[edit]

All matches were due to be played on 3–4 January, however, winter weather forced the postponement of most of these fixtures due to frozen pitches. The round is divided into two pools, with several teams receiving a bye to the First Round:[1]

Tie no Home team Score Away team
1 Eccles and Salford Juniors 6-22 Saddleworth Rangers
2 Egremont Rangers 14–8 Thornhill Trojans
3 Ovenden 22–20 Oulton Raiders
4 Skirlaugh 56–4 Heworth
5 Wath Brow Hornets 18–14 Millom
6 Siddal 30–12 Normanton Knights
7 Stanningley 16–18 Hull Dockers
8 Halifax Irish 10–22 Bradford Dudley Hill
9 Rochdale Mayfield 12–36 Leigh East
10 Halton Simms Cross 46–12 York Acorn
11 Ellenborough 4–20 Wigan St Patricks
12 Bank Quay Bulls 6–19 Queens
13 Oldham St Annes 16–30 Wigan St Judes
14 Widnes St Maries 22–8 Ince Rose Bridge
15 Shaw Cross Sharks 16–21 Castleford Lock Lane
16 Stanley Rangers 12–40 Leigh Miners Rangers

†: fixtures rearranged due to frozen pitches. New dates varied between teams, depending on clashes with league fixtures and weather.

Pool B[edit]

Fixtures played 17–18 January:[1]

Tie no Home team Score Away team
1 Bristol Sonics 8–52 Leeds Met Carnegie
2 University of Wales Institute 18–20 Valley Cougars
3 Loughborough University 26–16 Nottingham Outlaws
4 West London Sharks 10–22 The Army

Pool A Byes: West Hull, Thatto Heath Crusaders, Myton Warriors, Orchard Park and Greenwood, Eastmoor Dragons, East Hull, Sharlston Rovers, Kells, Hull Isberg, East Leeds, Pilkington Recs, West Bowling, Milford Marlins, Crossfields, Waterhead, Castleford Panthers

Pool B Byes: St Mary's University College, RAF, Warrington Wizards, Featherstone Lions, Hull University, Edinburgh Eagles, Northumbria University, Royal Navy

Round 1[edit]

All matches played on 24–25 January. The round is divided into two pools, with the teams that received a bye in the last round entering.[1]

Pool A[edit]

Tie no Home team Score Away team
1 Kells 26–14 Eastmoor Dragons
2 West Hull 56–0 East Leeds
3 West Bowling 32–6 East Hull
4 Milford Marlins 14–24 Pilkington Recs
5 Hull Dockers 34–4 Ovenden
6 Castleford Panthers 12–26 Leigh Miners Rangers
7 Waterhead 14–16 Castleford Lock Lane
8 Siddal 36–12 Thatto Heath
9 Crosfields 10–36 Sharlston Rovers
10 Wigan St Patricks 24–18 Skirlaugh
11 Egremont Rangers 0–42 Wath Brow Hornets
12 Leigh East 68–0 Orchard Park and Greenwood
13 Hull Isberg 12–36 Saddleworth Rangers
14 Queens 13–0 Halton Simms Cross
15 Wigan St Judes 34–20 Myton Warriors
16 Bradford Dudley Hill 19–24 Widnes St Maries

†: fixtures rearranged for 31 January due to flooded pitches.

Pool B[edit]

Tie no Home team Score Away team
1 Featherstone Lions 18–12 Hull University
2 RAF 16–18 Edinburgh Eagles
3 Loughborough University 40–12 St Mary's University College
4 Leeds Met Carnegie 36–6 Warrington Wizards
5 The Navy 38–28 Valley Cougars
6 The Army 72–0 Northumbria University

Round 2[edit]

Draw hosted by Wath Brow Hornets on 27 January, as the winners of the Cumbrian derby in the first round. Matches to be played 14–15 February.[2]

Pool A[edit]

Tie no Home team Score Away team
1 Wigan St Patricks 20–16 West Hull
2 Widnes St Maries 8–15 Queens
3 Wath Brow Hornets 40–22 Hull Dockers
4 Kells 31–22 Leigh Miners Rangers
5 Wigan St Judes 24–28 Pilkington Recs
6 Siddal 34–10 West Bowling
7 Sharlston Rovers 20–10 Leigh East
8 Saddleworth 20–16 Castleford Lock Lane

Pool B[edit]

Tie no Home team Score Away team
1 Loughborough University 20–18 The Navy
2 Leeds Met Carnegie 20–6 Edinburgh Eagles
3 Featherstone Lions 12–30 The Army

Round 3[edit]

Draw was made live on BBC Radio Manchester on 17 February.[3] All twenty Co-operative Championship teams were added into the competition in this round, as well as four teams from the French Elite One Championship, and winners of the 2008 Russian Championship, RC Lokomotiv Moscow. The matches were played on 7–8 March.[4]

Tie no Home team Score Away team
1 Siddal 6–10 Swinton Lions
2 York City Knights 50–10 Wigan St Patricks
3 Featherstone Rovers 94–2 The Army
41 Queens A–A Doncaster
5 Pilkington Recs 24–34 Batley Bulldogs
6 Barrow Raiders 44–12 Blackpool Panthers
7 Gateshead Thunder 42–38 Whitehaven
8 Workington Town 6–18 Lézignan Sangliers
9 Leigh Centurions 82–6 RC Lokomotiv Moscow
10 Oldham Roughyeds 26–8 Sharlston
11 Sheffield Eagles 22–6 Toulouse Olympique
12 Leeds Met Carnegie 24–38 Rochdale Hornets
13 Widnes Vikings 88–0 Saddleworth
14 Wath Brow Hornets 14–12 London Skolars
15 Keighley Cougars 30–24 Pia Donkeys
162 Kells 12–22 Hunslet Hawks
17 Halifax 80–16 Loughborough University
18 Dewsbury Rams 18–6 AS Carcassonne
  • 1: Match was abandoned on 61st minute due to crowd trouble. Doncaster went through due to them being ahead at the time. The RFL upheld the decision after an investigation. It was the first time a rugby league game has been abandoned in England due to crowd trouble in over 70 years.[5]
  • 2: Match postponed due to waterlogged pitch.

Round 4[edit]

The draw for round 4 was made live on 9 March on BBC Radio 5 Live. The sixteen victorious Co-operative Championship teams from round 3 were joined by all fourteen Super League XIV teams, as well as Wath Brow Hornets, the competition's only amateur club remaining at this stage, and Lezignan, making this the Round of 32. From this point, no more teams are added to the competition.

All ties were played 3–5 April.[6]

Home Score Away Match Information
Date and Time Venue Referee Attendance
Swintoncolours.svg Swinton Lions 22 – 28 Rochdale colours.svg Rochdale Hornets 3 April, 19:30 BST Park Lane Peter Brooke 525
Faxcolours.svg Halifax 20 – 16 Widnes colours.svg Widnes Vikings 3 April, 20:00 BST Shay Stadium Richard Silverwood 3,204
HKRcolours.svg Hull Kingston Rovers 32 – 6 Cruscolours.svg Crusaders 3 April, 20:00 BST New Craven Park Thierry Alibert 7,104
Sheffeagles colours.svg Sheffield Eagles 28 – 18 Ramscolours.svg Dewsbury Rams 3 April, 20:00 BST Don Valley Stadium Robert Hicks 597
Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity Wildcats 54 – 0 Leigh colours.svg Leigh Centurions 3 April, 20:00 BST Belle Vue Gareth Hewer 2,637
Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Wolves 56 – 10 Yorkcolours.svg York City Knights 4 April, 14:00 BST Halliwell Jones Stadium James Child 6,000
Quinscolours.svg Harlequins RL 16 – 42 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Giants 4 April, 15:00 BST The Twickenham Stoop Ben Thaler 2,500
Batley colours.svg Batley Bulldogs 28 – 24 Hunsletcolours.svg Hunslet Hawks 5 April, 14:00 BST Mount Pleasant Dave Merrick 633
Fevcolours.svg Featherstone Rovers 54 – 16 Wath Brow Hornets 5 April, 14:00 BST Chris Moyles Stadium Greg Dolan 1,180
Oldhamcolours.svg Oldham Roughyeds 60 – 30 Lézignan Sangliers 5 April, 14:00 BST Boundary Park Ronnie Laughton 863
Catalanscolours.svg Catalans Dragons 40 – 38 Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls 5 April, 14:30 BST Stade Gilbert Brutus Steve Ganson 6,450
Barrowcolours.svg Barrow Raiders 20 – 32 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors 5 April, 15:00 BST Craven Park Jamie Leahy 6,275
Doncaster colours.svg Doncaster 18 – 32 Gthundercolours.svg Gateshead Thunder 5 April, 15:00 BST Keepmoat Stadium Craig Halloran 458
Cougscolours.svg Keighley Cougars 20 – 64 Castleford colours.svg Castleford Tigers 5 April, 15:00 BST Cougar Park Matthew Thomason 3,255
Hullcolours.svg Hull F.C. 18 – 22 Redscolours.svg Salford City Reds 5 April, 15:15 BST KC Stadium Ian Smith 8,945
Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 18 – 22 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 5 April, 16:30 BST Headingley Stadium Phil Bentham 17,689
Average attendance: 4,270

Round 5[edit]

The sixteen teams remaining after Round 4 were randomly paired against each other, in a draw held at RAF Leeming on 7 April involving AVM Chris Davison, Director of the RAF Sports Board, and Barrie McDermott, former Leeds and Great Britain and Ireland player.[7]

All matches will be played on 9–10 May.[8] The match between Gateshead Thunder and Oldham Roughyeds was due to be played at the Gateshead International Stadium, since Gateshead were the home team, however the match was rearranged to be played at the Darlington Arena due to a fixture clash between a playoff match for Gateshead F.C., who share the stadium with the rugby league side, and an athletics meeting. This is the first ever professional rugby league match to be held inside County Durham.[9]

The first match of this round was a repeat of a Super League fixture only thirteen days earlier. Wakefield took the initial lead, scoring ten points in six minutes, before Wigan levelled the game by the 24th minute. An early drop goal by Danny Brough edged Wakefield ahead by one point before Wigan scored their third try to lead 11–16 going into half time, following a successful conversion by Pat Richards. Wakefield scored their only try of the second half after 51 minutes, before Wigan scored two more tries to win the game by a margin of eleven points.[10]

Oldham also started off taking the initial lead before losing to the Gateshead Thunder. Tommy Goulden gave the visitors a lead of six points following a successful conversion, and this gave them a 4–6 lead at half time following a Gateshead try which was unsuccessfully converted. Four tries and three goals from Gateshead after the break handed them a twenty-two point lead, and two tries and a goal from Oldham were not enough to restore the deficit. A final Gateshead try ended the game with a firm 18 point margin in favour of Gateshead.[11]

The first game ever to be concluded via the golden point rule was played at The Jungle. Halifax earned a ten point lead through a try and two goals, one of which a penalty. Castleford replied with a converted try, before Halifax kicked another penalty goal to lead 6–12. The home side again scored a try, which was converted, before Halifax kicked another penalty goal before half time. Halifax scored first with a try after the break, before Castleford scored another of their own. Another try for Halifax was countered with three Castleford tries, one of which was successfully converted to give them a 30–22 lead. Two converted Halifax tries put them into the lead by four points with ten minutes to play, but a try from Brent Sherwin on the 74th minute levelled the game at full-time. Sherwin also scored the drop goal three minutes into extra time to send Castleford through after an historic fixture.[12]

Huddersfield won their early morning kick-off against Rochdale despite two late tries from the away side. Luke Robinson opened up the scoring on six minutes to score the first of five first-half tries for Huddersfield, to which Rochdale had no reply. Huddersfield scored again after 44 minutes to put themselves 32 points to nil ahead, before two converted Rochdale tries lowered the deficit to twenty points. Shaun Lunt finished the game off five minutes from full-time with a try that was successfully converted to provide himself with a hat-trick, and to give Huddersfield a comfortable win.[13]

Like Oldham and Wakefield had done the day before, Featherstone took the initiative before losing to the opposition. Featherstone took a four point lead thanks to a try which was unsuccessfully converted before Warrington scored twenty [[Answer (sports) |unanswered]] first-half points with four tries and two conversions. Chris Hicks converted his own try shortly after the break to put Warrington 4–26 into the lead before Featherstone replied with what was to be their final try. Warrington proceeded to run in five tries before full-time, all of which were converted by Hicks, to win the game by almost a half-century of points.[14]

Salford had lost three of their previous matches prior to this round's fixture, but this did not stop eight Salford players touching down for tries as they delivered the widest winning margin of the round away to Batley. Eight tries and eight goals, seven of which made up John Wilshere's ten goal match tally, scored by Salford went unanswered as Batley went into half-time fighting a 48-point deficit. Two further converted tries from Salford, including Mark Henry's fourth try, came before Batley's only try of the afternoon, which was not converted. Luke Adamson touched down two minutes from full-time to give a winning margin of 62 in favour of Salford.[15]

Of the four Co-operative Championship sides facing Super League opposition on the Sunday, Sheffield came closest to winning, with Hull Kingston Rovers having to regalvanise themselves to prevent a Sheffield come-from-behind victory. Sheffield only scored one converted try in the first forty minutes compared to the Rovers' four tries and three goals which had given them a sixteen-point advantage going into half time, but Sheffield struck back quickly after the break with a converted try in the 41st minute. Sheffield scored again fifteen minutes later with a converted try to put them only four points behind, before Shaun Briscoe went over the try-line and Michael Dobson converted to restore a ten-point advantage. Sheffield scored another try to lower the gap to four points again, but a late Rovers try in the 77th minute ended the game to advance them through to the quarterfinals instead of Sheffield.[16]

In a repeat of the 2007 Challenge Cup Final, St. Helens overcame French opposition in the outfit of the Catalans Dragons to reach the quarterfinals and maintain their four year unbeaten cup run. Two tries within ten minutes gave an eight-point advantage to the home side before Thomas Bosc kicked a penalty to reduce the lead to 8–2. Catalans scored a converted try in the 21st minute to level game, before two tries and a goal for St Helens meant an 18–8 half time scoreline. Catalans failed to score at all in the second half, whilst to the contrary, St Helens ran in four tries, two of which were scored by Paul Wellens. All of the second half tries were converted by Sean Long to give the home side a winning margin of 34 points.[17]

Home Score Away Match Information
Date and Time Venue Referee Attendance
Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity Wildcats 17 – 28 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors 9 May, 14:30 BST Belle Vue Phil Bentham 4,883
Gthundercolours.svg Gateshead Thunder 34 – 16 Oldhamcolours.svg Oldham Roughyeds 9 May, 15:00 BST The Darlington Arena James Child 929
Castleford colours.svg Castleford Tigers 34 – 34 Faxcolours.svg Halifax 9 May, 18:00 BST The Jungle Steve Ganson 5,595
Castleford win 35-34 in extra time via the golden point rule.
Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Giants 38 – 12 Rochdale colours.svg Rochdale Hornets 10 May, 11:30 BST Galpharm Stadium Gareth Hewer 2,859
Fevcolours.svg Featherstone Rovers 8 – 56 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Wolves 10 May, 13:30 BST Chris Moyles Stadium Ian Smith 3,127
Batley colours.svg Batley Bulldogs 4 – 66 Redscolours.svg Salford City Reds 10 May, 15:00 BST Mount Pleasant Jamie Leahy 1,298
HKRcolours.svg Hull Kingston Rovers 34 – 24 Sheffeagles colours.svg Sheffield Eagles 10 May, 15:00 BST New Craven Park Thierry Alibert 4,955
Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 42 – 8 Catalanscolours.svg Catalans Dragons 10 May, 15:15 BST GPW Recruitment Stadium Ben Thaler 7,176
Average attendance: 3,853

Finals[edit]

The Gateshead Thunder entered their first ever Challenge Cup quarterfinal thanks to their victory over the Oldham Roughyeds. The nature of that fixture meant that a Co-operative Championship team was guaranteed to be present in the quarterfinals stage of the tournament. No other Championship team won their respective match against top-flight opposition, and so the rest of the remaining teams at this point were from the Super League. This round contained two Super League teams less than the previous round – the Catalans Dragons, who lost their fifth round tie against the Cup holders St. Helens, and Wakefield, who lost to Wigan.

Quarterfinals[edit]

The sixth round of the Challenge Cup involves the eight teams who won their respective matches in the previous round. This is the final round where home field advantage is given, due to the requirement that all semifinal matches must be played at a neutral venue.

The draw was made live on BBC Two at the GPW Recruitment Stadium on 10 May. Chris Joynt, four times winner of the Challenge Cup with St. Helens drew the home sides, while Andy Farrell OBE, four times winner with the Wigan Warriors, drew the away sides.

The matches were played on 29–31 May,[18][19] during the hottest weekend of the year so far temperature-wise.[20]

A sunny Friday evening at the JJB Stadium provided host to the round's first match, between the Wigan Warriors and Salford City Reds. Salford were victorious in their last three games going into this match, with Wigan hoping to get back to winning ways after a defeat to Warrington at the Halliwell Jones Stadium. Both players were also missing a player, Wigan's Stuart Fielden for disciplinary reasons,[21] and Darrell Goulding for Salford, on loan from Wigan, who was cup-tied for playing against Barrow Raiders earlier on in the competition. A line break from Gareth Hock gave the home side a six point lead after two minutes, following a successful conversion from Pat Richards. Salford replied nine minutes later with a line break of their own, eventually resulting in a try for Luke Adamson, converted by John Wilshere. It was to be the only Salford score of the match, but Wigan failed to take full control after forty minutes in only scoring one further try from Pat Richards on the wing to make the score 10–6 on the half-time hooter. However, Wigan scored eighteen unanswered points in the second half, with Pat Richards kicking a goal on the 49th minute, and scoring two more tries on the 59th and 70th minute to complete his hat-trick, the latter of which was converted. Hock scored another try of his own after 76 minutes, with Richards kicking the conversion to bring his individual total for the match to twenty, booking Wigan's place in the semifinals for the first time since 2007.[22]

A Lee Briers drop goal in extra-time was all that separated Hull Kingston Rovers and Warrington Wolves at "New" Craven Park on the Saturday in a closely fought game. Both sides were in winning form, with Warrington having assembled three wins in a row, and Hull KR having won their previous six matches. The two sides had recent history in the competition, when in 2006, Warrington were knocked-out by Hull KR, who were then in National League One. The home side were first on the scoresheet after centre Kris Welham crossed the line in the 3rd minute. The conversion attempt was successful from Michael Dobson, before Vinnie Anderson replied for Warrington on the 17th minute to put the scores level following a Briers conversion. In spite of attacking play from both sides, the game ended at half time 6–6. Warrington seized the initiative four minutes after the break thanks to a converted Jon Clarke try, however, Hull KR levelled the game again five minutes later when Clint Newton crossed over the tryline. The home side pressed a ten-point advantage with two 53rd and 60th minute tries from Ben Galea and Jake Webster respectively, the latter of which was the only unsuccessful conversion of the match. Warrington matched Hull KR with two tries of their own in five minutes from Matt King and Chris Bridge, to put them two points ahead with ten minutes left to play. A penalty conceded to the side of Warrington's left upright was kicked by Hull KR's Dobson three minutes from full-time to force the game into a golden point situation, the score being 24–24 at the final hooter. Hull KR did not gain enough territory to allow Dobson a chance at a drop goal, whilst conversely Briers missed three attempts, once to the right side facing him and twice to the left side of the uprights, before landing his fourth attempt five minutes into extra time.[23]

In contrast, the match at the Gateshead International Stadium could barely have been more one-sided, with St. Helens running out eventual winners against the Gateshead Thunder. St Helens scored twice in the first five minutes, with tries from Matthew Gidley and James Roby, both conversions missed. A brief lull in the game was ended with another St Helens try after 21 minutes from fullback Paul Wellens, and this was converted by Sean Long. Chris Flannery scored in the 25th minute, before a barrage of three St Helens tries in five minutes from Maurie Fa'asavalu, Kyle Eastmond and Leon Pryce respectively put the visitors 0–36 ahead following three conversions from Eastmond. Gateshead scored their solitary try before half-time when Ben McAlpine scored, and Nick Youngquest converted. The second half saw thirty unanswered points from St Helens with five tries in the 51st, 54th, 57th, 64th and 72nd minutes, all of which were successively converted by Eastmond to continue St Helens' four-year unbeaten cup run, finish the score at 6–66, and end any chance of a Co-operative Championship team reaching Wembley this year.[24]

The local derby between Huddersfield and Castleford was the solitary game on the Sunday, due to BBC coverage. Huddersfield were fresh from a 48-point winning margin over Wakefield from the Super League round the week before, whilst Castleford had not won a match during regular time in four games. Despite the form book, it was Castleford who gained the early advantage thanks to an aerial take from Michael Shenton following Rangi Chase's kick, before crashing over the tryline on the way back down to give Castleford a 0–4 lead after three minutes. Several passages later, Kevin Brown dummied his way for a try in front of the uprights which was successfully converted by Brett Hodgson. Huddersfield had a disallowed try before Castleford kicked a penalty two minutes before half-time to make a 6–6 scoreline at the break. Huddersfield again had a try disallowed for a forward pass, before Brett Ferres scored his only try, and two Kirk Dixon goals gave the visitors a 6–14 lead after fifty minutes. Huddersfield did not concede again, and following a twenty minute lull, scored a try thanks to Stephen Wild, which was successfully converted. Determined Castleford defending kept Huddersfield out for nine further minutes, before Danny Kirmond scored the match winning try in the 77th minute to send Huddersfield through to the semifinal stage.[25]

Home Score Away Match Information
Date and Time Venue Referee Attendance
Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors 28 – 6 Redscolours.svg Salford City Reds 29 May, 20:00 BST JJB Stadium Thierry Alibert 9,466
HKRcolours.svg Hull Kingston Rovers 24 – 25 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Wolves 30 May, 17:30 BST New Craven Park Phil Bentham 7,671
Warrington win by golden point in extra time after the game was tied 24-24 after 80 minutes.
Gthundercolours.svg Gateshead Thunder 6 – 66 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 30 May, 18:00 BST The 'Thunderdome' Ian Smith 4,325
Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Giants 16 – 14 Castleford colours.svg Castleford Tigers 31 May, 15:30 BST Galpharm Stadium Richard Silverwood 6,359
Average attendance: 6,955

Semifinals[edit]

The four teams remaining play against each other for straight access into the Final. All matches in this round are played on a neutral venue. The draw was made live on BBC Two following coverage of the quarterfinal match between Huddersfield Giants and Castleford Tigers on 31 May. Only nine days after losing their Super League XIV tie at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, Wigan Warriors were drawn against the Warrington Wolves, whilst a repeat of the 2006 Challenge Cup Final was made with St. Helens versus Huddersfield Giants.[26]

One match is played on Saturday 8 August, the other is played the day after.[27] The dates and venues were confirmed on 2 June, with Wigan Warriors vs Warrington Wolves being played in Widnes at the Stobart Stadium Halton on the Saturday, and St Helens vs Huddersfield being played on the Sunday at the Halliwell Jones Stadium in Warrington.[28]

Wigan vs Warrington[edit]

A Matt King hat-trick ended Wigan's dreams of going to Wembley in 2009, putting Warrington into their first Challenge Cup final since 1990, despite the return of Wigan's captain Sean O'Loughlin following a knee injury. The video referee declined a Warrington try from Ben Westwood on grounds of obstruction, and Wigan also had a disallowed try from winger Pat Richards, but it was Wigan who took the initiative thanks to a side-step from Phil Bailey after seven minutes; the try was successfully converted by Richards. Two further points were added to Wigan's tally following a penalty, to give an 8–0 lead. Warrington rallied to score twenty-four unanswered points by the half-time break, with two tries from King as well as tries from Louis Anderson, Lee Briers and Michael Cooper, before King completed his hat-trick in the 48th minute to give the Wolves a 24-point lead. Sam Tomkins, in his first season of first-team rugby, started a Wigan fightback as he caught an offload from the right wing by George Carmont before grounding the ball beneath the sticks. Chris Riley was stretchered off for concussion and whiplash after colliding with Joel Tomkins' knee, and Wigan took advantage of this with two further tries from Andy Coley and Thomas Leuluai which were both converted to reduce Wigan's arrears to six points. Briers kicked a drop goal the set afterwards to give Warrington safety, before the game was sealed with a Chris Hicks try to give the full-time score of 26–39.[29]

St Helens vs Huddersfield[edit]

A Francis Meli hat-trick was not enough to extend St Helens' four-year unbeaten run in the Challenge Cup with a victory in Warrington. Man of the match Brett Hodgson opened up the points tally with a try in the fifth minute, although he failed to convert it. Meli scored on the wing five minutes later to level the game following another missed conversion from Kyle Eastmond. Stephen Wild scored the only other try of the first-half following a line break from Kevin Brown, which was converted to give Huddersfield a 4–10 lead. Huddersfield extended the advantage further, scoring two tries from Leroy Cudjoe and Brown in the first ten minutes of the second half, although Brett Hodgson again missed both. Meli cross the line again on the wing to bring the score to 10–18. A strong defensive performance from Huddersfield prevented another St Helens score, and Wild's second try three minutes from full-time gave the Giants a 14-point advantage. St Helens' solitary try-scorer Meli scored on the wing straight from the kick-off to complete his hat-trick, but there was not enough time for a comeback.[30]

Final[edit]

Further information: 2009 Challenge Cup Final

The Carnegie 2009 Challenge Cup Final was played on 29 August, eight rounds and almost eight months after the tournament started in its preliminary stages. Following tradition, the match was held in London at Wembley Stadium. The game finished with Warrington Wolves defeating the Huddersfield Giants 16-25 following two controversial disallowed tries for the Giants, which if awarded would have won them the game if at least one conversion attempt was good.

Home Score Away Match Information
Date and Time Venue Referee Attendance
Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Giants 16-25 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Wolves 29 August Wembley Stadium Steve Ganson 76,560

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