On this day – 7th May

ON THIS DAY in 1977, Leeds took on Widnes in the Challenge Cup Final at Wembley.

Having lost to Leigh in 1971 and St Helens in 1972, Syd Hynes team were desperate to get their hands on the Challenge Cup for the first time since the famous Watersplash Final in 1968.

ION THIS DAY in 1999, Leeds faced Wakefield Trinity at Headingley. The game came a week after the Rhinos had lifted the Challenge Cup at Wembley and had lost heavily at St Helens in midweek.

The Rhinos overcame torrential rain and a highly motivated Trinity side to land the spoils but the game was not settled until midway through the second half. In a lacklustre opening the Rhinos had conceded the lead and gone in 2-8 down at the break. 

Without Iestyn Harris, Richie Blackmore and with Ryan Sheridan initially on the bench, the team failed to make the most of the conditions despite an early penalty for Wakefield’s messing around the play-of-the-ball. Dean Lawford kicked, but the scores were soon level when Leeds were found guilty of the same crime and former Rhino Adam Hughes slotted a penalty over. 

However Trinity gained confidence in that, and soon managed to grab the only try of the first half. They broke on the right hand side and after good work from Hughes the ball was span inside for former Loiner Vince Fawcett, who stepped inside Marcus St Hilaire and crossed between the sticks.

After the break thanks to a couple of sin-bin’s for the visitors the Rhinos began to put pressure on the Wildcats line. 

Ryan Sheridan’s emergence off the bench was the key. He put in the grubber that yielded the first try with Brad Godden picking the ball up to force over. 

Sheridan himself got the second with a darting run that was not picked up by the Wildcats defence, an Anthony Farrell off-load and quick hands saw Francis Cummins zip in at the corner to put an end to the game. 

With Francis Cummins kicking his fare share of penalties the game was put to an end, and even a late sin-binning for Terry Newton could not spur the visitors on. 

The man-of-the match was adjudged to be Adrian Morley who with his barnstorming runs looks like he is once again close to his best. The game also saw Jamie Jones-Buchanan make his debut off the bench.

ON THIS DAY in 2004, Leeds took on Warrington at Headingley. Leeds Rhinos bounced back to winning ways with a 23-10 win over Warrington Wolves at Headingley.

Their unbeaten record in Super League IX had been shattered a week earlier at St Helens, but they emerged from a tight struggle to take the points.

ON THIS DAY in 2010, the Rhinos welcomed Blackpool Panthers to Headingley in the Challenge Cup.

The Rhinos were given a fright by lowly Blackpool in the first half before five tries from Brent Webb and a hat trick from Mike Coady helped the Rhinos into the Quarter Final of the Carnegie Challenge Cup.

ON THIS DAY in 2011, Leeds needed to battle hard to see off the challenge from Crusaders in the Challenge Cup.

Rhinos made the fifth round draw with a show of immense character but were left to rue the cost.

Ten points and two players down inside 14 minutes, Leeds seemed in a hole – Brent Webb suffering a severe dead leg when carving out the opening chance and Danny McGuire tearing a quad muscle in the chase back to try and prevent Crusaders’ second score.

PICTURE BY VAUGHN RIDLEY/SWPIX.COM…Rugby League – Challenge Cup – Leeds Rhinos v Crusaders – Headingley, Leeds, England – 07/05/11…Leeds Jay Pitts.

ON THIS DAY in 1921, Headingley hosted the Northern Union Championship Final between Hull FC and Hull KR. The Black and Whites had won their first Championship the previous year with a 3-2 victory over Huddersfield.

They secured back-to-back Championships by beating Hull KR in the first time the two Hull clubs met in a final. Rovers had finished top of the table and won their first major trophy in the NU, beating Hull FC 2-0 in the Yorkshire Cup final at Headingley on 27th November 1920. However, Hull FC claimed their revenge with the 16-14 win in the end-of-season Championship Final.