Game by Numbers: Challenge Cup Final

Picture by Alex Whitehead/ - 23/08/2014 - Rugby League - Tetley's Challenge Cup Final - Castleford Tigers v Leeds Rhinos - Wembley Stadium, London, England - Leeds' Kevin Sinfield and Danny McGuire celebrate with the trophy.

Ahead of today’s Coral Challenge Cup Final between the Rhinos and Salford Red Devils, take a look at some of the big stats, facts and numbers relating to the two teams and the Challenge Cup…

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Leeds and Salford have previously played each other 11 times in any round of the Cup. First meeting in the quarter finals of the 1907 competition (which Salford won 12-3) This will be the first time either side has met in the Final.


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It has been 82 years since Salford last won the Challenge Cup. Despite reaching the Final four times before, Salford's sole win came in 1938 when they defeated Barrow 7-4 at Wembley. Salford were back again a year later but couldn't retain the Cup against Halifax.


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Rhyse Martin has been one of the highest scoring players in this year's competition. Scoring two tries and kicking 13 goals, the Papua New Guinea captain is tied with York's Connor Robinson on 34 points but if he scores more than ten points today, he would overtake current top points Sam Freeman from Rochdale Hornets on 44 points.


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There are 12 players throughout both Leeds and Salford's squads that have previously played in the Challenge Cup Final. Tom Briscoe and Kallum Watkins are the most experienced, featuring in four finals each. Adam Cuthbertson and Tom Briscoe are the only remaining players from Leeds' 2015 Cup squad.


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After his five try performance in 2015, Tom Briscoe is one of the highest scoring players in the Cup Final. The Lance Todd trophy winner joined former Rhinos captain Iestyn Harris (1999) and Wakefield's Neil Fox (1960) on 20 points, with Harris scoring a try and kicking eight goals in Leeds' 52-16 win over London Broncos.


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Out of the previous 11 matches played between Leeds and Salford in the Challenge Cup, Leeds have won on eight occasions. Starting with a 21-0 result in 1921, the men in blue and amber most recently met Salford in round five of the 2012 competition; the eventual Cup finalists defeating the Red Devils 16-10 at the AJ Bell Stadium.


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Leeds hold the record in the Challenge Cup Final for the most tries scored by a side. In 1999 and 2015, the Rhinos scored nine tries, thanks to four by Leroy Rivett in '99 and five from Tom Briscoe in the Treble Season. Huddersfield are the only other team to score nine in the Final (a 37-3 result over St Helens in 1915).


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Should the Rhinos win today, Leeds will have their name etched on the Cup for the 14th time in the club's history. Defeating Hull in a replay to claim their first Challenge Cup in the 1909-10 season, Leeds have gone on to lift the trophy in 1923, 1932, 1936, 1941, 1942, 1957, 1968, 1977, 1978, 1999, 2014 and 2015.


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Former Rhinos Tui Lolohea and Kallum Watkins have both been named in Ian Watson's 21 man squad to face their former club. Watkins played in four Challenge Cup finals for the Rhinos, winning two (2014 and 2015), while Lolohea will be making his first appearance against Leeds in major final.


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Today's referee Liam Moore will be officiating his first Challenge Cup Final this afternoon. At 25 years old, he is one of the youngest referees to take charge of the Cup Final and has previously refereed Leeds and Salford twice before in Super League (at Emerald Headingley in 2019 and the Halliwell Jones in 2020).