By Alex Gibbings.
West Yorkshire amateur side Normanton Knights are gearing up for a big fourth round tie in rugby league’s Challenge Cup on Saturday.
24 teams will battle it out between Friday and Sunday for a place in the next round of English rugby league’s premier cup competition. The potential prize of is a tie with a Super League side in the fifth round, but it is the Knights who have one of the biggest ties of the fourth stage of the cup.
.@NormantonARLFC are a community club built on self-funding 💪
— The Coral Challenge Cup (@TheChallengeCup) March 14, 2018
The Knights host Championship outfit Rochdale Hornets on Saturday at Featherstone Rovers’ LD Nutrition Stadium, with the tie being shown live on the BBC Sport website.
And whilst there is a buzz around the club at the moment, the Knights will be looking to take the sting out of their opponents’ tails this weekend.
“Obviously we can’t look past Rochdale who are going to be a tough test and rightly so, going into the game as massive underdogs but we’re quietly confident in our processes and know what we have to do,” said Knights’ stand-off, Tom Alexander.
“It’s been a massive boost to the lads knowing our game is being covered by the BBC, everyone was already excited enough by the draw but this just adds that extra bit to it.
“The BBC have been down training to film bits which is something new for the boys & we’re all buzzing for the game, it’s a good opportunity for some of the younger lads to put themselves in the shop window.”
The Knights have defeated Royal Navy, Rochdale Mayfield and Batley Boys on their route to the fourth round of the Challenge Cup, and they have also started their league campaign strongly, with coach Paul Seal is pleased to see their efforts rewarded.
“We won promotion to the National Conference League Premier Division last year and we’ve had a really strong pre-season too, the tie in this round is great for the team for the effort they’ve put in and it’s an opportunity for them to play a different level of rugby against professionals,” Seal told rugby-league.com.
“We wanted to play a Championship side, the top level you can play at this stage of the competition and we’ve managed to get that, so we’re really looking forward to it.
“We’re taking the game seriously and hoping to put up a good account of ourselves, not just turning up to make a day of it. We’re actually going there with a serious attitude to try and cause an upset.”