HULL KR HOOKER Shaun Lunt is hoping to make it third time lucky at Wembley on Saturday –but there will be a “silver lining” if he does not.
Lunt was a Challenge Cup final runner-up with Huddersfield Giants against Warrington Wolves in 2009 and again when Rhinos lost to the same opposition three years later.
It was Lunt’s try which sealed Rovers’ semi-final victory over Warrington at the start of this month and he is desperate to be in the winner’s circle this time around. Lunt – who is on loan from Huddersfield – will be a key man for Rovers against Rhinos and he said: “It is such a prestigious trophy, I just want to get my hands on it and give it a big kiss one day. Hopefully, it will be third time lucky.
“Tyrone McCarthy has won it twice, so I said to him ‘I’m either going to have three losers’ medals or he’s going to have three winner’s medals’.
“Hopefully, he will have three winner’s medals because that means I will have one, so fingers crossed.”
The compensation, if Rovers do lose, is that one of Lunt’s great mates will have something to celebrate after his final appearance at Wembley.
Lunt shared lifts to training with Kevin Sinfield during his loan spell at Leeds in 2012 and he said: “We get on really well and are still good friends.
“People think he’s boring because he’s the ultimate professional and he’s good at everything, so people like to slag off people who do well.
“Kev doesn’t really get the plaudits he deserves from his fellow professionals because a lot of them are jealous of him, but as a person he’s brilliant and a champion bloke.
“We spoke earlier on in the year and I said ‘I’ll see you at Wembley’. That was ages ago. I congratulated him after Leeds beat Saints and he wished me all the best for the Warrington game – and it has comne true.
“I said to Kev ‘if we lose this game, there’s no-one else I’d rather lose it to than yourself’.
“It would be bitter-sweet and obviously I want to win it, but seeing a legend of the game like that going out on a high would be the silver lining.”
Lunt still has a lot of affection for Leeds, where he was a Grand Final winner at the end of his spell.
“The boys and the club were absolutely fantastic with me from day one,” he said.
“They welcomed me with open arms and I reckon that’s what really kick-started my career again.
“I had fallen out of love with rugby, I really had, but I came to Leeds and it was fantastic, so I’ve got the utmost respect for the boys there and for Leeds as a club as well. I’d never have a bad word to say about them.”