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Carnegie Challenge Cup Quarter Final review by Simon Reuben
The road to Wembley got one step closer as the Carnegie Challenge Cup reached the last eight and with an all Super League line-up some big teams faced elimination.
In the tie of the round, the top two sides in Super League took on each other and Champions Wigan Warriors ended Warrington Wolves two year run as cup holders with a 44-24 triumph at a sold out H.J. Stadium in a thirteen try thriller.
The Wolves made a bright start and lay siege to the Wigan line, but the Champions defence withstood everything that was thrown at them.
And they hit Warrington with an amazing four try burst in fifteen first half minutes to lead 22-0.
Thomas Leuluai's break set up the first for Harrison Hansen before, almost straight from the kick off, Sam Tomkins spotted a gap and raced 80 meters to the line for the try of the match.
On 17 minutes Andy Coley evaded the tackles and bulldozed his way over the line as Wigan added a third try. Seven minutes later it got even better for the visitors as the ball was moved across the line and Pat Richards went over in the corner to send his team into a commanding position.
However, the holders would not give in likely and stunned Wigan by storming back to only trail 22-16 at half time.
Enter Matt King playing in the Cup for the last time before joining South's next year, the big Aussie got Warrington on the scoreboard with a fine try and then his offload set up Richard Myler as the hosts got a foothold in the game.
Three minutes before the break Michael Monaghan set up Myler for a double as a breathtaking half ended with the Wolves still alive in the competition.
Straight after the restart the lead was down to two as David Solomona powered over the line. But the Warriors responded and that man Richards went over again as the visitors had an eight point advantage. King added another after Joel Monaghan's interception.
However, the Warriors young winger Josh Charnley scored a brace to effectively kill of Warrington. His first came from good work by Joel Tomkins and his second was a brilliant 90-meter solo effort.
The icing on the cake came three minutes from time as the only survivor from Wigan's last Challenge Cup win in 2002; Skipper Sean O'Loughlin scored the final try of the game to put his side within one game of Wembley.
Warrington Wolves 24-44 Wigan Warriors Att: 13,105
Castleford Tigers overcame West Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield Giants 22-18 in a tight contest at Probiz Coliseum.
The Tigers made a good start and took the early lead with a Kirk Dixon try and goal. Jordan Thompson added another as the hosts moved into a 12-0 lead.
Scott Grix gave the Giants some hope as he went over just before the break to cut the gap to 12-6.
Jermaine McGillvary scored early in the second half to bring it back to 12-10. But Castleford responded and Scrum-half Danny Orr's scored an important try as he put his side two scores in front.
Huddersfield, through Leroy Cudjoe then crossed on 55 minutes, but unfortunately Danny Brough was having an off day with the boot so the conversion was missed.
Six minutes later the Tigers were on the scoreboard again thanks to a try from Ryan Hudson.
Michael Lawrence added a fourth Giants try to make it 22-18 and set up a Grandstand finish with 12 minutes left.
However, Castleford held on and booked their place in the last four as the Giants poor run of form continues.
Castleford Tigers 22-18 Huddersfield Giants Att: 6,336
The biggest one sided tie of the round was St Helens demolishing Hull KR 54-6 at Stobart Stadium in Widnes.
Rovers came into this game on a bit off a roll having won their last four games, but they were never in the game against a Saints side who are now back at strength after some early season injuries.
Leon Pryce, playing only his third game of 2011, gave St Helens the early lead. Sia Soliola, Jon Wilkin and Tommy Makinson also went over in the first half as the hosts went into half time with a useful 20-6 lead.
Rovers only score of the game came from second-row Ben Galea.
In the second half Jonny Lomax and James Roby began to pull the strings as Hull KR were easily dispatched out of the competition.
Scott Moore, Lomax, Roby and Michael Shenton all crossed before Wilkin and Makinson scored their second tries of the game.
Winger Jamie Foster kicked seven goals as St Helens cruised into the last four.
St Helens 54-6 Hull KR Att: 6,449
The final match of the round saw Leeds Rhinos making it two wins in a week over Hull FC, this time 38-22 at KC Stadium.
After been shut out last Friday 20-0, the Black and Whites made a bright start to the game and struck first as Sam Obst went through a gap in the visitors defence.
Jordan Turner made it 12-0 after an initial break from Richard Whiting. Ben Jones-Bishop got Leeds on the scoreboard as he managed to squeeze in at the Corner.
Just on half-time Turner made it a double as he twisted over the line to make it 16-6 in the Black and Whites favour.
But the Rhinos roared back and hit Hull with a three try burst in the first eleven minutes of the second half.
Carl Ablett took Kevin Sinfield's pass to start things off with Ali Lauitiiti and Brett Delaney also getting on the scoresheet.
Skipper Kevin Sinfield added a penalty to go past Leeds legend Lewis Jones' club record goals haul of 1,244.
Joe Westerman gave Hull some hope as the gap was down to 28-22.
However, Ablett and Jones-Bishop both scored late on as the Rhinos hopes of a return visit to Wembley were kept alive.
Hull FC 22-38 Leeds Rhinos Att: 9,496
The Draw for the Semi Final of the Carnegie Challenge Cup has produced two mouth-watering local derbies.
Arch-rivals Wigan Warriors were pitted against St Helens and Leeds Rhinos taking on Castleford Tigers.
The ties will be played on 6 and 7 August respectively at neutral venues to be announced later on this week.