Leeds Rhinos: Burrow hoping to side-step lengthy lay-off

Rob Burrow
Rob Burrow
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WEMBLEY TRY scorer Rob Burrow is hoping he can avoid a long lay-off after his Challenge Cup final jinx struck again.

Burrow was hurt racing over for a try in last Saturday’s 50-0 demolition of Hull KR and spent the final few minutes of Rhinos’ victory on the sidelines for the second successive year.

It was the latest in a series of knocks suffered by Burrow in a Challenge Cup final, but he is confident he won’t be facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

Coach Brian McDermott was due to name his initial 19-man squad for Friday’s visit of St Helens this afternoon and Burrow is an injury doubt along with full-back Zak Hardaker (gashed leg), but he insisted: “I’m not too bad, it is a bit sore, but I’m all right.

“I can remember catching the ball and I felt something go or twinge a little bit and I got to the line carrying it.

“It’s hard to say how bad it is. It depends how it pulls up, but I’m hoping I’ll be all right.”

Rhinos are already without their first-choice hooker Paul Aiton, due to a season-ending broken arm.

Burrow suffered a groin injury in last year’s final and was famously knocked out moments after coming off the bench in the 2003 Cup final, which Rhinos lost to Bradford Bulls at Cardiff.

He said: “I carried on for the rest of the season last year carrying the injury. I also did my rib cartilage when we got beaten by Wigan [in 2011] and now this, so I’ve not had much luck with injuries at Wembley.”

The try on Saturday was Burrow’s first in a Cup final and he insisted going off hurt had not ruined his day.

“Obviously I would have liked to get more time,” said Burrow, who came off the bench seven minutes into the second half as replacement hooker.

“I came on behind a dominant Leeds pack and thankfully I could do my little bit.”

Rhinos will open a six point lead on the First Utility Super-8s table if they record a fourth win of the season over Saints in two days’ time.

Burrow said: “We were back in training on Monday and straight back into it.

“It doesn’t slow up, there’s some big games coming up.

“We want to put in a big performance this week.

“We enjoyed the final and the homecoming – it is special and you have to do that.

“But at the same time we can’t dwell on it like we did last year.

“We suffered with it last year and we don’t want that to happen again.”

The Challenge Cup final victory was the first step towards what could be an historic treble and Burrow said the way Rhinos handled the occasion has given the squad a fresh injection of confidence going into the crucial final weeks of the season.

“While it wasn’t the best of finals for the neutral, as a job done I think it was as good as you’re going to get,” he said.

“The preparation was spot on.

“It is a special week when you get into a final and the build-up was good. Thankfully we put in the performance we knew we possibly could do.”

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