oyal Navy make it to round two of the Challenge cup after demolishing Bridgend Blue Bulls 60-0 in South Wales. 140121 CREDIT BFBS .jpg
Rugby League

Royal Navy hoping to make Challenge Cup history

oyal Navy make it to round two of the Challenge cup after demolishing Bridgend Blue Bulls 60-0 in South Wales. 140121 CREDIT BFBS .jpg

History beckons for the Royal Navy rugby league team in the Challenge Cup third round.

In only their third-ever appearance at this stage, the sailors take on York Acorn for a place in the fourth round.

After a win against the Army in round two, the Navy are aiming for a first-ever fourth-round place.

The last time the Navy were at this stage was in 2012 when they were beaten comfortably by Hunslet Hawks despite beating Leigh Miners Rangers in an earlier round.

This season, they've dominated against Bridgend Blue Bells before edging out the Army in an all-military clash.

Meanwhile, York Acorn have beaten Edinburgh Eagles and Wests Warriors to get to this stage.

They've reached round three in both of their last two Challenge Cup campaigns but lost both matches.

Watch: The Navy's big second round win over the Army in the Challenge Cup.

Key players

Joseph Sugden – Royal Navy

Sugden has been influential in both of the Navy's Challenge Cup victories this year. He was on the scoresheet in the 60-0 win over Bridgend Blue Bells and was the match-winner against the Army with the golden point try.

Ash Robson – York Acorn

The full-back was a scorer in round one and boasts a lot of experience. He's a former York City Knights player but started his career at Acorn.

Key facts

Watch: Highlights of the Navy's 60-0 win over Bridgend Blue Bells in round one.

"Last chance to achieve the dream"

What an opportunity for the Royal Navy's 'Band of Brothers' to make a bit of history by getting to round four of the Challenge Cup for the first time! After their brilliant fightback to beat the Army in round two, and with the home advantage, they must have a great chance, although coach Steve Lockton is keeping things low key before the game.

York Acorn from the National Conference Premiership, will provide a stern test for the Navy. Their league campaign is yet to get under way so they are focused on the cup. They have elected to travel from York to Portsmouth on match day. Will that play into the Navy's hands or will the 16:00 UKT kick off help the visitors?

We are yet to find out whether Nathan Lee will be able to play for the Navy after being sin-binned in the closing moments of the Army game. He will be crucial for them as will scrum half James Tilley who was outstanding in both their cup wins so far.

For several of the more experienced Navy players, this could be their last chance to achieve the dream of a fourth round place and with so much young talent that have plenty to prove, that could just tip the balance to their advantage with the vocal Navy support at Burnaby Road.

My tip? The Navy to win, a close game by the tightest of margins.

Jon Knighton, Sports Editor at BFBS