Robbie Hunter-Paul’s Northern Rail Cup predictions

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NORTHERN Rail Cup ambassador have given he thoughts on this season’s competition.

The former Super League and international star won the competition with Leigh Centurions last season.

He said: “The Northern Rail Cup competition has quickly become a must win competition for the players involved. In any professional sporting career you get very few chances to play on the ‘big stage’ and playing in and winning the NRC can make all of your playing dreams come true.

“When I think back on last years’ final where Leigh fought back from behind to beat Halifax in the final 20 seconds of the game, allowed that game to go down as one of the finest moments in my long, long, long career!

“To see the euphoria on the faces of my team mates and the cheers exploding from our fans showed exactly what the game meant to everyone involved.

“But what do you need to do to get to this final? Well your team needs to be in-form right from the first game of this competition. Many of the top teams have come unstuck as they have waited too long to get winning combinations together.

“Teams to watch will be last year’s Northern Rail Cup Champions, Leigh Centurions and Co-operative Champions Featherstone Rovers. Both of these two squads have kept the nucleus of their teams together and will be tough contenders.

“Mark Aston’s Sheffield Eagles are always impressive as shown in their ability to make last year’s Championship final. There will be a lot of interest in both Halifax and Batley as Karl Harrison and John Kear respectively take charge of these very famous clubs, both of these leaders have the experience to call on to motivate their athletes to another level.

“My dark horses will be Keighley as they have recruited many explosive former super league players and are looking to make a lot of noise in the 2012 season.”