Joe Burgess’ epic 90-metre charge capped a successful revenge mission for Hull KR who beat holders Leigh 26-14 to book their place in the last four of this season’s Betfred Challenge Cup.

Rovers head coach Willie Peters had insisted last year’s agonising golden-point loss to the same side in the Wembley final had not been a factor in preparations for the repeat encounter at windy Craven Park.

But the celebrations told a different story as Rovers battled to shrug off their gutsy opponents, with late tries from Niall Evalds and Elliot Minchella finally securing a hard-fought win that kept alive their hopes of a quick return.

  • Super League fixtures | Super League table | Listen to The Bench podcast
  • Stream Super League and more on NOW
  • Download the Sky Sports App| Get Sky Sports on WhatsApp

Rovers had three tries disallowed but made hard work of dispatching opponents who came into the game with just one win from their first seven Super League starts but had carved out a four-point half-time lead.

Adrian Lam’s men looked brightest early, with Brad Dwyer first to threaten the line, before Burgess broke the deadlock in style in the ninth minute.

The winger received the ball deep in his own half and shrugged off both Tom Amone and Dwyer to burst through gap, easing inside Matt Moylan and holding off the fleet-footed Josh Charnley to cap a brilliant solo opener.

But Kai O’Donnell zipped in to level within three minutes and two kicks from Moylan gave Lam’s side real hope of extending their title reign as they took an 8-4 advantage into the interval.

Also See:

  • Rugby league highlights and video

  • Rugby league interviews and features

  • Stream Sky Sports with NOW

  • When are the games live on Sky Sports?

Charnley had twice been denied by saving tackles by Burgess and Tyrone May, but Rovers were aggrieved by disallowed efforts from Jai Whitbread, for a ball-steal on Frankie Halton, and Dean Hadley for a marginal forward pass by Minchella.

Picture by Allan McKenzie/ - 13/04/2024 - Rugby League - Betfred Challenge Cup Quarter Final - Hull KR v Leigh Leopards - Sewell Group Craven Park, Hull, England - Hull KR's Elliot Minchella celebrates to the crowd after victory over Leigh.
Image:Hull KR’s Elliot Minchella celebrates to the crowd after victory over Leigh

When Burgess and Kelepi Tanginoa crossed for back-to-back tries early in the second half, Rovers looked to have shaken off their early lead and all but booked their place in the semi-finals.

They were denied for a third time when May’s race onto Ryan Hall’s clever kick was ruled offside, and Leigh hauled themselves back into the game when Umyla Hanley crossed on the right flank and Moylan’s kick from close to the touchline made it a two-point game.

Rovers were proving their own worst enemies at putting the game to bed but the excellent May gave them breathing space when he sent Evalds over in the corner with 10 minutes left on the clock.

Mikey Lewis fluffed his conversion and Rovers’ six-point lead raised the nightmare spectre of another golden point showdown until Minchella made certain in the 79th minute after intercepting a poorly executed forward pass by Zak Hardaker.

Giants stun Catalans with victory in Perpignan

In Saturday’s other Challenge Cup quarter-final, Huddersfield stunned Super League leaders Catalans Dragons with a 34-6 victory in heatwave conditions in Perpignan.

The Giants turned the tables on their French hosts in 30-degree heat with a dominant performance which was too hot to handle for the hosts.

Full-back Jake Connor was the star of the show with a 14-point display which left coach Ian Watson bursting with pride.

Watson said: “That’s an awesome win for us, we’ve been slowly building through the season and we were confident coming here.

“We like the weather and it suits the way we want to play, and the boys were outstanding today against a real top-team performance against a real tough team.

“We like a dry fast track, we feel we’ve got speed and we’re definitely pretty fit as a team.

“The last three weeks have been great and we’re getting better each week and that’s all we speak about, improving every week.”

Ad content | Stream Sky Sports on NOW


Stream Sky Sports live with no contract on a Month or Day membership on NOW. Instant access to live action from the Premier League, EFL, F1, England Cricket, Darts, Tennis and so much more.

Get Sky Sports on WhatsApp!

Sky Sports WhatsApp channel

You can now start receiving messages and alerts for the latest breaking sports news, analysis, in-depth features and videos from our dedicated WhatsApp channel!

Find out more here.