Tetley's Challenge Cup Semi Final Review

Leeds Rhinos 24

Tries: Hall 2, Moon, Briscoe
Goals: Sinfield 4

Warrington Wolves 16

Tries: Bridge, Ratchford, Westwood
Goals: Bridge 2

Att: 12,132 @ Langtree Park St Helens

Leeds Rhinos booked their place at Wembley with a hard-fought win over Warrington Wolves at Langtree Park.

This is the missing piece in the jigsaw as the Rhinos have been the dominant force of the Super League era with six title wins, but in the same time have lost the same number of Challenge Cup Final.

Warrington on the other hand are the modern day cup kings with three win the last five years , two against Leeds , were looking for another visit to the Big Arch.

It was Leeds who took an early lead as Kevin Sinfield kicked a third-minute penalty, after the Wolves fullback Matty Russell was penalised for running into his own man.

The side from Headingley continued to have most of the possession and in the 26th minute, England winger Ryan Hall produced a brilliant one-handed finish by the corner flag, touching down with inches to spare and while fending off Joel Monaghan with his right hand.

Sinfield added a great touchline conversion to take the lead out to 8-0 and this started a bit of revival for the Wolves as they took the game to the Rhinos.

Chris Bridge was held short of the line by good work from Zak Hardaker and this gave Leeds the confidence to add to their lead as four minutes before the break a fine break by Hardaker led to Danny McGuire getting Hall over the line for a double with a superb long pass.

Sinfield again added another difficult conversion to give his side a useful 14-0 lead at Half-time.

If Warrington were to get back into the game they needed to do it quickly and they did after the resumption as Rhys Evans broke clear down the left and moments later on the last a kick from Richard Myler as patted down by Joel Monaghan for Bridge to score a unconverted try.

Leeds withstood the pressure and good work by Rob Burrow and Sinfield led to McGuire getting Joel Moon over the line as the lead went out to 18-4.

The Wolves knew needed to up their game and they did as Stefan Ratchford picked up a brilliant Ben Westwood offload to score a crucial try. Bridge added the extras and it was 18-10 going into the final twenty minutes.

However, on 68 minutes a loose pass from Myler was picked up by Tom Briscoe, who raced 50 metres to score the match winning try underneath the posts.

Warrington would not throw the towel in and Westwood got a third try for his side with five minutes left, but is was bit to late as the Rhinos hung on to book their place at Wembley against great West Yorkshire rivals Castleford Tigers ,as they hope to end their fourteen year wait for the big prize.

Widnes Vikings 6

Tries: Owens
Goals: Owens

Castleford Tigers 28

Tries: Finn, Clark, Dixon Ellis, Webster
Goals: Sneyd 4

Att: 12,005 @ Leigh Sporting Village

Classy Castleford Tigers returned to Wembley, for the first time since 1992, with a one-sided win over Widnes Vikings.

After good wins over Widnes this year, the Tigers came into this one was firm favourites as the game was played in heavy blustery showers.

Castleford adapted better to the bad conditions and took the lead on five minutes when the influential hooker Daryl Clark jumped out of dummy half and found Luke Dorn who then got Liam Finn on a jog to the line.

It soon became 10-0 as Cas claimed a second try when Clark exchanged passes with Marc Sneyd to touch down in the corner with a fine worked move.

Widnes were out of sorts as they failed to put any pressure on the Tigers line and the side from West Yorkshire then suffered a major loss as prop Craig Huby was forced off with what was later confirmed as a dislocated elbow .

Just before the interval it got even better for Castleford as right winger Kirk Dixon stepped inside from the touchline to claim his side's third score of the game.

Danny Tickle drove Widnes to within inches of the line as they looked to pull one back just before the hooter but he could not hold on as the Cheshire side trailed 14-0 at the break.

Castleford tightened their grip after the break and seemed to have put the game beyond Widnes as Jamie Ellis went over from dummy half.

Sneyd added a penalty and Widnes once again struggled to get any foothold in the game. They were finally put out of their misery when Jake Webster wrapped up the game thanks to a good off-load by Dixon.

However, the Vikings fans had something to cheer when Jack Owens scored a consolation late on. After the end of the game there were some ugly scenes as Widnes fans invaded the pitch and approached the Castleford end. Some fighting did break out on the pitch but police and stewards eventually restored order, the matter is now under investigation by the RFL.

So coach Daryl Powell, who has led a remarkable revival of Cas over the past year, got the final he wanted as he was a member of the last Leeds side to have won the Challenge Cup in 1999 and later had a spell coaching the Rhinos.