The 2013 Challenge Cup is about to get interesting, with only eight teams remaining in the quest for the prestigious title.
After five rounds of intense action between some of the best rugby clubs in the world, the matches that occur over the next four days will whittle the field down to the final four—an honor that should make any club consider the year a success.
Advancing won't be easy though. Each of these teams have dominated on their way to this point of the tournament.
Here's a look at all four matches, complete with all the details you need to know to catch the action. TV schedule provided by Challenge Cup website.
Sheffield Eagles vs. London Broncos
Kicking off the quarterfinals action will be a pair of English teams in Sheffield and London. Sheffield is seeking its first Challenge Cup since 1998 while London is hoping to capture its first in club history.
When: Friday, July 12, at 8 p.m. BST (3 p.m. EDT)
Where: Don Valley Stadium, Sheffield, England
Watch: Sky Sports
The Eagles enter the tie as a slight underdog despite coming off of an impressive win over Halifax in the previous round. Full-back Quentin Laulu-Togagae led the way for the Eagles last time, scoring two tries.
Yet as impressive as Laulu-Togagae has been, he'll have a difficult time outperforming Bulls star Michael Witt. The do-it-all 29-year-old scored a try and four goals in the team's fifth round 25-16 victory over the Bradford Bulls.
Catalans Dragons vs. Hull F.C.
Play picks up on Saturday with an intriguing matchup between French club Catalans, who will be looking to repeat their 2007 performance when they made the Challenge Cup final, and Hull. Hull will be looking to add a fourth Challenge Cup to their resume.
When: Saturday, July 13, at 4 p.m. BST (11 a.m. EDT)
Where: Stade Gilbert Brutus, Perpignan, France
Catalans made quite an impression in the fifth round of the Cup—earning a 92-8 victory over York City that left you wondering how the Knights even advanced that far. Kevin Larroyer led the way with four tries.
Hull will need a strong defensive effort to hold off the high-flying Dragons. Fortunately, their physical defense was on display in their fifth round match up, where they gave up just six points to the Wakefield Wildcats.
Warrington Wolves vs. Huddersfield Giants
The Warrington Wolves should be in familiar territory here. They're now just two matches away from having the opportunity to defend their 2012 Challenge Cup title. Huddersfield shouldn't be intimidated though: With six Challenge Cups to its name, the Claret and Gold are capable of shining on the big stage.
When: Sunday, July 14, at 4:15 p.m. BST (11:15 a.m. EDT)
Where: Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington, England
Warrington put on a scoring display that was only rivaled by Catalans' offensive explosion in the fifth round. They defeated the Salford City Reds 52-6 in a match that saw seven different Wolves score at least one try.
Huddersfield, on the other hand, relied on a dominant defense to get the win and advance to this point. They defeated the Leeds Rhinos 24-8 with Leroy Cudjoe scoring two tries.
Wigan Warriors vs. Widnes Vikings
With an incredible 18 Challenge Cups on their resume, Wigan is one of the most successful clubs in the sport and a constant threat in the tournament. Widnes has a prestigious career with the Cup itself. The Cheshire club has won seven Cups in club history and is currently on the rise as a contender again.
When: Monday, July 15, at 8 p.m. BST (3 p.m. EDT)
Where: DW Stadium, Wigan, England
Watch: Sky Sports
Wigan are well on their way to another championship appearance after an excellent 46-14 win over Hull Kingston Rovers in the fifth round. Sam Tompkins will be the player to watch, as he scored four tries in the victory and will look to put his team on the board multiple times once again.
Scoring regularly against Widnes will be a much more daunting task though. The Vikings registered the only shutout of Round 5. Dave Allen's two tries highlighted the 36-0 victory.
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