Leeds Rhinos are heading to Wembley.
Veteran prop-forward Jamie Peacock was the inspiration behind a fine team display which saw Warrington Wolves out-gunned 24-16 in a thrilling Tetley’s Challenge Cup semi-final at Langtree Park, writes Peter Smith.
Leeds set the platform with a magnificent first half display and they toughed it out after the break as desperate Warrington threw everything at them.
Carl Ablett, Danny McGuire and Kevin Sinfield all had huge games for Rhinos, who are now preparing for their fourth Cup final in five seasons.
Rhinos led 14-0 after dominating the first half.
They went ahead after just two minutes through a Sinfield penalty goal and increased their
lead after 26 minutes of heavy pressure, when Joel Moon’s pass found Ryan Hall and he
somehow got the ball down at the corner.
Sinfield landed a magnificent conversion from the touchline and repeated the feat four minutes
before the interval, after Hall had finished from McGuire’s long pass.
Warrington got back into the game just three minutes into the second half when Richie Myler’s kick was taken by Joel Monaghan and his offload put Chris Bridge over.
The try scorer’s conversion attempt bounced away off a post and Rhinos regained their 14-point advantage on 51 as Moon swooped over from a pass by McGuire.
There was no goal and Leeds had an escape when Chris Hill was held up over the line by Peacock, McGuire, Sinfield and Ablett.
The relief was short lived though. On the hour Chris Bridge and Ben Westwood carved out a try for Stefan Ratchford.
Bridge added the extras to make it 18-10 and Warrington seemed to be gaining the upper hand, but a loose hand knocked the ball down on half-way and Tom Briscoe picked up to race over.
Sinfield’s goal made it 24-10 with 13 minutes left.
Westwood scored a late try, improved by Bridge, but Leeds held on to book their place in the final on August 23.