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Rugby League: best bets of the Challenge Cup fifth round

| 10.05.2013

This weekend sees the Challenge Cup getting serious as the fifth round of fixtures get under way and Warrington Wolves – winners in three of the last four campaigns – are 9/4 favourites to retain the trophy, with Super League leaders 11/4 second in the Challenge Cup betting. Below picks out a brace of best bets for this weekends action, including one for the BBC-televised Huddersfield v Leeds clash.

The undoubted Blockbuster tie of the round sees Huddersfield Giants host perennial Challenge Cup nearly men Leeds Rhinos. Leeds boss Brian McDermott has been at pains to stress that the opposition are favourites for this clash after the Giants beat Leeds comfortably at Headingley in the sides’ most recent meeting, despite Coral making the Super League Grand Final winners – who have won eight on the bounce going into the fixture – 4/9 jollies for the contest.

Defensive inadequacies have cost the Giants recently with consecutive defeats against Catalan Dragons and Warrington Wolves, but coach Paul Anderson insists his side “can’t dwell” on the performance. Huddersfield are still second in Super League and can deliver the win with a +6 handicap against a side who they’ve beaten by a 24 point margin in their last two meetings – they can be backed to do so at even money with Coral.

Halifax visit Sheffield Eagles in an all Championship clash in the Steel City and although it’s the visitors who currently sit atop the second tier standings, Eagles can be backed to progress to the sixth round at 10/11 with Coral.

‘Fax have been swatting aside all comers at The Shay all season long, with Sheffield the only side to get within 10 points of them at home, but as an away side they’ve been a fair bit less formidable, shipping a draw and a loss and posting only two wins by in excess of 10 points. Sheffield – who famously upset the odds to beat Wigan in the 1998 Challenge Cup final – have been irresistible at Bramall Lane this term and should register their seventh win in as many games against Karl Harrison’s outfit.