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Tetley’s Challenge Cup Final review
Leeds Rhinos ended their 15 years of hurt as they lifted the Tetley's Challenge Cup for the twelfth time with a comfortable win over West Yorkshire rivals Castleford Tigers at
The Rhinos, who have won six Grand Finals but have lost their last six Challenge Cup finals since 1999, were looking to end their hoodoo as they took on great West Yorkshire rivals Castleford Tigers who were looking for their first Cup final triumph since 1986.
Leeds named the same seventeen which saw off Warrington Wolves in the semi-final and the Tigers welcomed back prop forward Craig Huby, less than a fortnight after dislocating his left elbow.
The Rhinos ripped into Castleford from the start and a mistake by front rower Andy Lynch, led to Leeds opening the scoring on four minutes. Danny McGuire managed to get a repeat set and this led to Zak Hardaker and Kallum Watkins playing in right winger Tom Briscoe.
Sinfield kicked the extras to make it 6-0 but the Tigers struck back on 10 minutes when hooker Daryl Clark got on the end of Marc Sneyd's grubber kick to touchdown. Unfortunately, Sneyd missed a relatively simple conversion.
McGuire then scored Leeds second try when he leapt above full-back Luke Dorn, to collect Rob Burrow's high kick and then it got even better for the men from Headingley as a 50-metre break from Hardaker set up the position for Ryan Hall to score try number three.
The England winger took McGuire's cut-out pass and then fended off his opposite number Kirk Dixon to score a superb solo effort.
Sinfield kicked his second goal as Leeds had control of the game with a 16-4 lead at the break.
In the early stages of the second half, the Tigers roared back skipper Michael Shenton fended off Kallum Watkins as he broke clear and then he pass the ball out for Oliver Holmes to score near the posts.
Liam Finn kicked the extras as the gap was down to six points. The Rhinos were happy to play safety first football as they kicked the ball down the field as let their defence do the rest.
However, on 66-minutes Hall made sure it was Leeds ‘ day as he took Paul Aiton's pass to crash over the line. Sinfield's conversion made it 22-12 and McGuire added a one-pointer four minutes from time to finally end Rhinos long wait as their golden generation finally won the Challenge Cup.
Castleford Tigers: Dorn; Dixon, Webster, Shenton, Carney; Sneyd, Finn; Lynch, Clark, Huby, Holmes, Hauraki, Massey.
Interchange: Mariano, Wheeldon, Ellis, Jewitt.
Leeds Rhinos: Hardaker; Briscoe, Watkins, Moon, Hall; Sinfield, McGuire; Leuluai, Burrow, Peacock, Delaney, Ablett, Jones-Buchanan.
Interchange: Aiton, Bailey, Kirke, Sutcliffe.
Leeds Rhinos 23 (Hall 2, Briscoe and McGuire tries. Sinfield 3 goals. McGuire drop goal) defeat Castleford Tigers 10 (Clark and Holmes tries. Finn goal) Att: 77,914 Played at Wembley Stadium London
Lance Todd Trophy: Ryan Hall (Leeds Rhinos)
Referee: Phil Bentham