All eyes will be on the University of Bolton Stadium on Sunday as rugby league fans flock to Greater Manchester to see who will reach the final of the Challenge Cup.
The excitement surrounding the unveiling of the Super League Super 8s fixtures has dominated the social media feeds of many supporters this week. However, fans of St Helens, Catalans Dragons, Warrington Wolves and Leeds Rhinos will be praying their heroes can shine in Lancashire this weekend.
The first semi-final sees Justin Holbrook’s men do battle with the Dragons at 12.30pm on what is expected to a comfortable afternoon for the Super League leaders.
Saints have dominated the division in the first 23 games and they could have the League Leaders’ Shield wrapped up in the next few weeks.
They have not lost since April 15 and Holbrook has a strong squad available, with full-back Ben Barba expected to shine once again.
Catalans have featured just once in the Challenge Cup final, going down to Saints in 2007, and they have undoubtedly improved of late.
Steve McNamara’s men finished eighth in the regular season after a tremendous upturn in their fortunes but Saints’ experience should prove too much this weekend.
At 2.45pm the Wire and Leeds will meet at the same venue and a cracking atmosphere is expected with the RFL confirming the stadium has sold out.
Steve Price has got the best out of his team in 2018 and the Warrington fans will be confident they can end their Grand Final woes this season.
However, they have plenty of experience in lifting the Challenge Cup in the last decade, winning it three times since 2009.
Leeds will be looking to give winger Ryan Hall the perfect send off as he prepares to move to the NRL at the end of the year.
The Rhinos have turned up on the big stage on so many occasions but this promises to be a step too far.
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