WORLD’S BEST winger Ryan Hall scored a brace of tries as Leeds Rhinos finally got their hands on the Tetley’s Challenge Cup at Wembley this afternoon.
Hall won the Lance Todd Trophy as man of the match for his brace, one in reach half, as Leeds eventually broke Tigers’ dogged resistance.
History repeated itself as a winger, Leroy Rivett, was man of the match in Leeds’ previous win in 1999 - six Cup final defeats ago.
Leeds dominated the opening period and went in 16-4 ahead at the break, but Cas made a real fight of it in the second half before Hall’s second try and a Danny McGuire drop goal took the trophy to Headingley.
Leeds scored first after just four minutes through Tom Briscoe, the winger squeezing over at the corner from Kallum Watkins’ pass after Kevin Sinfield and Zak Hardaker had also handled.
Sinfield landed a touchline conversion, but Cas levelled just 10 minutes later through Daryl Clark’s well-worked touchdown from Liam Finn’s kick.
There was no goal and Rhinos moved eight points clear at the end of the opening quarter. Rob Burrow put up a kick on the last and McGuire picked Luke Dorn’s pocket to collect and go over.
Sinfield booted his second goal, but was off target on 25 after McGuire’s blindside pass picked out Hall and the winger went over the top of Kirk Dixon to plant the ball down one-handed.
Cas were much stronger in the second half and a superb try got them back in the game, Oliver Holmes dashing over from Michael Shenton’s break.
Finn converted and it was nip and tuck until the 67th minute when Paul Aiton worked a one-two with Jamie Peacock and then provided the final pass for Hall.
Sinfield converted off both posts and McGuire sealed it with a drop goal four minutes from time.
Rhinos were unchanged from their semi-final win over Warrington Wolves.
Craig Huby - who dislocated an elbow in Tigers’ semi-final success against Widnes Vikings 13 days earlier - was included in the starting lineup and Justin Carney and Weller Hauraki both featured, after missing the previous round due to suspension.