Scorpions relish new cup format
SOUTH Wales Scorpions are set to make a realistic challenge to reach the 2013 Northern Rail Bowl final after the new competition was announced this week.
The inaugural Bowl final will be contested by the two Kingstone Press Championship One clubs who top their respective Northern Rail Cup groups prior to the knockout stages of the tournament.
Should a Championship One club reach the Northern Rail Cup final then the club placed second in the group will play in the Bowl final.
The Bowl final will be staged before the Northern Rail Cup final, with both games to be played at The Shay in Halifax on Saturday, July 20.
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The Scorpions' Northern Rail Cup campaign starts on Sunday, March 3, when they take on London Skolars at The Gnoll (3pm), and coach Dave Clark believes that this new extraordinary twist will make the competition extra special.
"I won't pull any punches — for Championship One sides the Northern Rail Cup has often been seen as a pre-season tournament," he said.
"We know we've got little chance of winning the Northern Rail Cup as there are so many good Championship sides who are preparing to apply for Super League.
"However, we are in with a very realistic chance of reaching the Northern Rail Bowl final and that gives our first four games of the season extra importance. We have a chance of winning some silverware here and getting to a cup final. It's still going to be very tough, of course, but it's realistic."
The Scorpions and the Crusaders are in different groups in the Northern Rail Cup, giving the possibility of an all-Welsh final for the first team in league history.