Leeds Rhinos: Leeds aim to overcome Wembleyitis

Ryan Hall.

Ryan Hall.

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WINGER RYAN Hall insists Leeds Rhinos are determined to travel to Wembley on the back of a win this time.

Rhinos are building up to their fifth Challenge Cup final in six seasons, but have a record of poor performances the week before the big match.

They have lost the game before Wembley the last three times they have reached the final, but Hall said the league leaders are fired up to break that jinx at Hull tonight.

Rhinos were beaten at Harlequins in 2011, Catalans the following year and London Broncos 12 months ago.

Asked if they have suffered from ‘Wembleyitis’ in previous seasons, Hall admitted: “I should know, but I don’t.

“I have been involved in the game before Wembley a few times, having been lucky enough to play in so many finals, but I can’t say.

“It is certainly not in my mind this week, because we have got Hull in front of us and it is going to be an intense game.

“You learn at a young age as a rugby league player that if you take any game lightly, you come off worst.

“We are not prepared to do that this week – it’s an important game.

“It is right in the middle of the Super-8s and that’s what we’ve been working towards all year – getting into the Super-8s, performing well and getting towards the Grand Final.

“Hull had a great result last week away to St Helens, so we know they are in form – even though they are down in seventh.

“They can still be in the top-four and they’ll be wanting to keep their chances up by beating us.”

Rhinos began round three of the First Utility Super-8s with a four-point lead in the table.

“We’ve worked hard to get that and we’re proud of it,” Hall stated.

“We want to keep that lead intact and we are going to be giving it 100 per cent (tonight).

“Finishing top is one of our goals, we are not shy about admitting that.

“We are in a good position at the moment and we just need to keep hold of that.”

Rhinos have beaten Hull three times already this year, including twice at the KC Stadium, but Hall said Leeds are preparing to face desperate opposition.

“They are going to see it as an invaluable two points, they are going to be scrapping for everything, but we’re aware of that,” he said.

“We are going to be going there fully prepared.”

Centres Kallum Watkins and Joel Moon have been left out of tonight’s squad and Brett Delaney, who has a hamstring injury, will not be risked.

But Hall said the players who do take to the field will not be holding back for fear of getting hurt ahead of the final.

“If you do, you are more likely to get injured,” he said. “You just have to go out and get stuck in and play your normal game.”

Leeds winger Tom Briscoe celebrates the Rhinos first try against Huddersfield with his captain, Danny McGuire.

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