After yesterday's cup capitulation by St. Helens at the hands of the Castleford Tigers, the BBC will have been hoping that this afternoon's sixth round game, between the Warrington Wolves and the Widnes Vikings, would be a much closer affair.
With Widnes anchored to the foot of the Super League table, and the Wolves knocking on the door of the top eight, the home side were the clear favourites to make Cup progress. When the two sides met a month ago it was the Wolves who recorded a 19-10 win, but Dennis Betts will have been coaching his side all week for the one-off cup game.
What we got was a humdinger of a battle between two sides keen to play open rugby.
Both sides had early opportunities which signalled an open game.
Widnes grabbed the first points of the game when Greg Burke dove over after a sequence of fast play the balls. Patrick Ah Van had earned a penalty and four tackles in Rhys Hanbury made the break before Aaron Heremaia put in the final to the Vikings loose forward. Ah Van added the conversion.
The Wolves were all square on twenty when Ryan Atkins scored from five metres out after Kurt Gidley had gone close but quickly regained his feet for a quick play-the-ball. Stefan Ratchford added the conversion for 6-6.
On twenty-five Kevin Brown stole the ball from Ah Van under the Vikings sticks, Hanbury held on too long in the tackle and saw the yellow card of referee Child. Three tackles in and Ashton Sims had a try ruled out by the video referee as he was held up over the line. But it was just delaying the inevitable and two tackles later Kevin Brown crossed. Ratchford added the two from wide of the sticks.
On forty-five Jay Chapelhow took full advantage of Widnes's command of the opening moments of the second half to take a Heremaia pass and reach for the line and ground despite the attention of three tacklers. Ah Van kicked brilliantly from wide and the sides were back level.
On forty-nine Warrington laid on in the tackle in their own ten metres and Ah Van slotted over the penalty to edge his side into a two point lead.
Three minutes after taking the lead the Vikings were behind again as Brown threw the dummy and got his second try of the afternoon from twenty out. Ratchford added the extras for an 18-14 lead.
Interference at the play-the-ball gifted Ratchford a penalty goal for 20-14 after an hour of play.
A great break from young Danny Walker saw him go from just inside his own half to the Wolves twenty where he found Ah Van on his inside who then went the last twenty to cross and ground by the post pad. The winger converted his own try and again the sides were level.
Ten minutes out from the hooter and Kevin Brown wriggled an arm free from four Widnes tacklers to ground one-handed. After initially playing on referee Child called on the video referee who announced a try for Browns hat-trick. Ratchford failed to add an easy looking two for 24-20.
Matty Russell sealed the Wolves win when he used superb upper body strength to ground the ball, by the right corner flag. Ratchford failed to convert but the lead was eight points with just six minutes remaining.
Chris Hill found a massive gap in the Widnes defence after taking a Gidley pass. The England forward scored under the sticks and when Ratchford added the extras the scoreline was starting to look a bit harsh on a spirited Widnes Vikings.
It's Warrington who make it into the bag for the draw for the quarter finals but they know that they'd been in a battle royal. Widnes punched above their current form and gave the Wolves more than a few scares. But for a couple of game turning moments it could so easily have been a far different outcome.
Elsewhere today in the Cup, Wigan Warriors won comfortably at last rounds Giant killers Swinton Lions by 42-12 while Leeds Rhinos had no problems in overcoming the challenge of Championship One side Barrow by 72-10.
Wolves: Ratchford (5G), Russell (T), Hughes, Atkins (T), Lineham, Brown (3T), Patton, Hill (T), Gidley, Sims, Jullien, Westwood, Cooper. Subs: Crosby, King G., Smith, Philbin.