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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Castleford Tigers 10 Leeds Rhinos 23

23rd August 2014

By Leeds Rhinos

The Tetley’s Challenge Cup will be returning home to Headingley Carnegie after two tries from Ryan Hall helped inspire Leeds to victory over Castleford Tigers at Wembley.

Leeds Rhinos returned to Wembley for a fourth time in five years looking to end their elusive crusade to finally lift the Tetley's Challenge Cup but they faced a spirited Castleford outfit, looking to cause a major upset against their fierce local rivals.

WP – Home MPU

The opening sets were predictably fiery but it as Leeds who settled into their stride the quickest and they opened the scoring after just six minutes when quick ball along the back line to put Tom Briscoe over in the corner. Briscoe had been part of the Hull FC side who had been nilled at Wembley twelve months earlier but he got his new side off to the perfect start. Kevin Sinfield kicked the touchline conversion to extend the lead to 6-0.

Daryl Powell’s Tigers have earned a reputation as a determined and tenacious outfit and it was no surprise when they hit back. They were denied a try by referee Phil Bentham after he had blown for a penalty to them at the play the ball before they went over. However, there was no stopping player of the season Daryl Clark when he picked up a grubber kick and held off the challenge of Zak Hardaker to score. Marc Sneyd missed the conversion so Leeds maintained their slender lead.

The Rhinos began to build pressure on the Tigers line and they got their reward when Danny McGuire, Super League’s leading try scorer of all time, picked the perfect moment to score his first Challenge Cup Final try, as he chipped over the defence before racing through to catch ahead of Carney and score. Sinfield added the conversion to make it 12-4.

Crucially Leeds then managed to get two tries in front when Ryan Hall showed just why he is regarded as the world’s best winger. There looked to be little on when he collected the ball 10 metres from the Castleford line but he dragged Kirk Dixon over the line with him before touching down one handed. Sinfield was off target for the first time but his side held a 16-4 lead going into half time.

The second half was always going to see the Tigers throw everything at Leeds and they got their reward when Michael Shenton shrugged off the tackle of Kallum Watkins and raced through to set Oliver Holmes away to score. Liam Finn added the conversion to bring his side to within a converted try of levelling the game just eight minutes into the second half.

The next quarter of the game was a pulsating affair with both teams producing some breath taking defence. The deadlock was finally broke when Hall, once again, created a try from nothing as he barged his way passed two would be tacklers and then slipped from their grasp to touch the ball down. Sinfield added the touchline conversion to give his side a 22-10 lead with 12 minutes to go.

The result was sealed three minutes from time when Danny McGuire kicked a drop goal from close range to put his side three scores in front and secure victory. 

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