Normanton Knights v Rochdale Hornets
Saturday 17th March 2018, 14:00pm
Challenge Cup - Round: 4
Stats over last 1 encounters
Rochdale Hornets kick-off their Ladbrokes Challenge Cup campaign, as they travel to Featherstone Rovers' LD Nutrition Stadium to take on NCL Premier Division side Normanton Knights in the fourth round.
Rochdale Hornets head into their Challenge Cup clash off the back of their first victory of the 2018 season, as they fought back from a 12-0 half-time deficit.
A quick-fire treble after the break saw the home side hit the lead, as Lewis Palfrey, Pat Moran and Deon Cross all scored in quick succession. Further tries from Lee Mitchell and Rob Massam rounded off a 24-12 win for Alan Kilshaw’s men.
Normanton Knights kicked off their first fixture as a National Conference Premier Division side with a win, as they defeated Wath Brow Hornets 18-10. Tries for Lee Hammond, Thomas Alexander and former Rochdale man Stuart Biscomb helped them to victory on the opening weekend.
ROAD TO THE FOURTH ROUND
The Knights haven’t reached this stage of the competition since 2015, when they hosted Batley Bulldogs at Belle Vue.
The Championship outfit ran out comfortable 78-6 winners, with Jonathon Hodgson scoring Normanton’s only try of the game.
To reach the fourth round of the competition this time out, they have come through some closely fought contests including a win in Rochdale.
In the first round the Knights snuck past the Royal Navy with a 12-11 victory, before seeing off Rochdale Mayfield 8-4.
To secure their tie with the Hornets, they completed a shut-out of Batley Boys as they clinched an 18-0 win.
Stuart Biscomb will be lining up against his former club, as the Knights back rower spent some of the 2016 League 1 season at the Crown Oil Arena. He made nine appearances, scoring twice during that time before work commitments meant he had to call time on his Hornets career.
Alan Kilshaw has handed a trial to Rochdale Mayfield star Seta Tala, and he could be in line to make his debut on Saturday. Callum Mulkeen comes into the squad following the news of his permanent contract, while Aiden Hema also makes the 19.
Pat Moran has impressed on dual-registration so far this season, but is unavailable as Warrington Wolves want to keep the prop-forward from being cup tied. Morgan Smith has also been recalled by the Super League outfit, with Luke Adamson nursing a rib injury picked up in the Barrow victory.
Hornets 19-man squad: Richard Lepori, Dec Kay, Earl Hurst, Deon Cross, Rob Massam, Lewis Palfrey, Danny Yates, Toby Adamson, Ben Moores, Lee Mitchell, Dave Allen, Gary Middlehurst, Joe Taira, Setareki Talatoka, Dec Gregory, Billy Brickhill, Blake Turner, Aiden Hema, Callum Mulkeen
“There’s not many games where we go into them as favourites. It’s all about attitude this week, we’ve got to have the right mind-set.
“We’ve got to respect them, and we do. We have done our prep on them as we would for anybody. It’s going to be a hostile environment, with a hostile crowd and they will have big numbers supporting them and so they should. They have done really well to get to this point, they are riding a little bit of a wave after being promoted.”
For Alan’s full preview of the game click here
Saturday’s game will take place at Featherstone Rovers’ LD Nutrition Stadium, and tickets can be purchased from the stadium ticket office prior to the 2pm kick-off on the day of the game.
Ticket prices are: £10 – Adult, £6 – Concession, £2 – Kids.