With an extra weekend to prepare, and backed by a larger than average home crowd thanks to reduced entry prices, everything was in place for a Red Devils win to lift them into the top eight ahead of the Magic Weekend.
Tomy Smith and his Warrington Wolves had different ideas, and following the midweek departure of Micky Higham, they had Daryl Clark at hooker and welcomed the influential Stefan Ratchford back to the ranks after he missed out on last weeks cup win over the Dewsbury Rams.
With fourth against six, a gritty West Yorkshire derby, and both sides having a point to prove after disappointing cup exits last weekend, this was never likely to be a game for the purists.
What the Tigers and Giants served up was a game of high intensity, plenty of errors, some poor misjudgements and a great big dollop of late match controversy.
The unsung stars of tonight's show were wearing suits and sat in the video booth.
The disciplinary panel were pretty busy as a result of the weekends Ladbrokes Challenge Cup action as they ploughed through a hours of footage to investigate thirty-nine incidents. Of the thirty-nine, ten involved players from Championship and Championship 1 teams and the remainder were Super League players.
After their deliberations just three of the offences were deemed worthy of charges and all three players will attend disciplinary meetings tonight to determine their fate.
Supporters of Saints, Catalans Dragons and Wakefield Wildcats will be the ones interested in the outcome.
The draw for the sixth round of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup had placed its biggest banana skin under the feet of the Wakefield Wildcats as a Leigh Centurions side, unbeaten in their last twenty-four outings, descended on West Yorkshire as far from underdogs.
The top side in the Championship were up against the team well adrift and propping up Super League, and whose only win since round two of Super League was against Championship opposition, when they rode the challenge of Halifax in the last round.
This was a chance for Wakefield to keep their season alive and get a much needed confidence boost, for Leigh Centurions it was their opportunity to test whether they could compete against Super League sides and claim their second top flight scalp in this seasons competition.
We also include the quarter Final draw.
The tie of the sixth round of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup saw an in-form Huddersfield Giants side travel to Headingley to take on the league leaders and cup holders, Leeds Rhinos.
The two sides met three weeks ago in Super League, and despite the Rhinos holding a convincing 22-4 half time lead, the spoils were shared in a 24-24 draw after a valiant Giants fightback.
Brian McDermott had selected Kevin Sinfield after leaving him out for the last two weeks losses and Ryan Hall also returned to the Leeds ranks. On paper there was very little to choose between the sides and the stage was set for a cracker.
An all Super League Challenge Cup match up between Wigan Warriors and Hull KR did little to demand the neutrals attention after the 60-0 drubbing which the Warriors handed out to their visitors just a short fortnight ago.
With the DW Stadium pitch undergoing maintenance, the game was moved to the Leigh Sports Village and SKY select the game for live televising. Just over four and a half thousand souls, some of them using free tickets handed out by the Robins after their heavy defeat a fortnight ago, braved the elements to see whether KR could upset the bookies, the pundits and all expectations.
There were just charges from twenty-two incidents considered by the disciplinary panel as a result of the six Super League round fourteen matches held last weekend.
Adrian Morley of Salford Red Devils can possibly count himself fortunate to have been charged with a 'minor contact' from his laying on of the head in the 28th minute of the Devils game with Huddersfield Giants.
Morley was offered an Early Guilty Plea which he accepted and the committee agreed no further action.
All of the top four looked to have comfortable fixtures but were given a run for their money by their round twelve opponents.
Leigh Centurions entertained Halifax, Bradford Bulls travelled to Whitehaven, Sheffield Eagles were up against basement side Doncaster and Featherstone Rovers were away in London to take on the Broncos.
Elsewhere, Batley Bulldogs made the long trip to Workington and Hunslet Hawks had a much shorter journey to Dewsbury to take on the Rams.
Two sides with top four aspirations met at a rain soaked, and windswept, A J Bell Stadium in Salford as the Red Devils looked to halt a four game losing streak against a Huddersfield Giants side who were unbeaten in the last three.
The Red Devils list of unavailable players was jam packed full of first teamers, and the visitors were almost unchanged from the side that fought back brilliantly last week against the Rhinos, and who were unlucky to only pick up one point.
There had been a week long war of words between the two sides, with Giants coach Anderson suggesting 'We owe them one' for the now infamous Chase cannonball challenge on Ferres which has seen both players absent for the last five.
Hull KR were still licking their wounds after their 60-0 whipping at the DW Stadium last weekend. Wakefield had also suffered a drubbing, theirs by a forty point margin, at the hands of St Helens. While Wakefield are almost certainly condemned to the mid-8's, the Robins still have aspirations for the super eights.
Chris Chester welcomed back Campese and Mantellato, much missed last week, and both players would prove to be a shot in the arm for the home side as they steered their side to a big win and piled the misery on the leagues basement club.
All views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of the RLFANS.COM or its subsites.
Copyright 1999 - 2015 RLFANS.COM