Bentley ARLFC 'underdogs' for historic Challenge Cup third round clash

Bentley ARLFC are hoping to pull off what would be one of the biggest shocks of the Coral Challenge Cup third round ties at Leigh Miners Rangers on Saturday, writes Steve Hossack.

Thursday, 6th February 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 6th February 2020, 6:00 am
Bentley ARLFC
Bentley ARLFC

The Yorkshire Men’s League Premier Division champions will put the finishing touches to their preparations tonight when travelling over to Castle Park to train alongside the Dons, who also take on top-flight National Conference League opposition in Thornhill Trojans on the same day.

“It will give us the chance to run through our moves, as it will the Dons against us, and the gesture is much appreciated,” said head coach Andy Whitfield.

“Being the lowest ranked team still in the competition we know that we are the underdogs but we aren’t without a chance and we know a lot more about them than when the draw was made last week.

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“I’ve watched their televised second-round game against Upton and for the first 70 minutes there wasn’t that big a gap between the two sides.

“I’ve also watched other footage of them and spoken to the Upton coach.

“They are a young enthusiastic side who like to move the ball about but I think we’ve got the forwards to pose them problems and we’ve also got some good backs – including an excellent back-three.

“Scrum-half Jack Crasswell will also pose them problems. He’s got a good kicking game, can spot a gap, and is a good organiser.”

He added: “The last time we played a top Conference side was in the second round of the Challenge Cup last year when we lost 36-0 at West Hull.

“Some of the players went into their shell that day and we didn’t do ourselves justice but we learnt valuable lessons in that game, such as the need to be quicker around the ruck area and to be more dominant in the tackle.

“We know what to expect on Saturday and will be better prepared.”

The club, who were considering putting on more transport to cater for demand earlier in the week, will have at least three coach loads of supporters cheering them on.

“The community have really got behind us,” said Whitfield.