Leeds Rhinos v Hull KR video: Favourites tag means nothing, insists Wembley-bound Sinfield

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LANCE TODD Trophy favourite Kevin Sinfield says the short odds on Leeds Rhinos winning the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup this weekend mean nothing.

The competition sponsors have Rhinos at 1-5 to lift the trophy, with Saturday’s opponents Hull KR rated as 7-2 outsiders.

Leeds Rhinos head coach Brian McDermott during the joint press conference ahead of the Challenge Cup Final, at Doncaster Racecourse.

Leeds Rhinos head coach Brian McDermott during the joint press conference ahead of the Challenge Cup Final, at Doncaster Racecourse.

Sinfield is a 5-1 shot to win his second Cup final man-of-the-match award, a decade after claiming the honour in Rhinos’ shock loss to Hull in Cardiff.

Jamie Peacock is 6-1 second favourite, with Adam Cuthbertson and Danny McGuire at 8-1, Zak Hardaker 10-1 and Kallum Watkins 12-1.

The shortest odds for a Hull KR player to win the Lance Todd award are 12-1 for half-back Albert Kelly, who is an injury doubt for the final .

Leeds’ Rob Burrow is a 16-1 shot, with Hull KR’s goal kicking winger Josh Mantellato a 20-1 chance.

Ladbrokes’ match odds are Leeds 2-9, Hull KR 4-1 and 20-1 the draw. Sinfield insisted Rhinos are in a good place ahead of the final, but stressed what they do over the 80 minutes at Wembley is all that counts.

“I think we’ve got a really determined group that are really focused at this moment in time,” said Sinfield, who will switch codes to join Yorkshire Carnegie Rugby Union club at the end of the season.

“I think we expect to see the best of Hull KR and hopefully they’ll see the best of us. The Challenge Cup does throw up shocks and we know how dangerous Hull KR can be.

“They have beaten Warrington and Wigan already this season and we’ve had two really tight games against them. As players, the underdogs/favourites tag is irrelevant.

“We know it’s your performance on the day that determines who picks that trophy up.

“We look forward to trying to play as well as we can on Saturday.”

Of his own Lance Todd odds, Sinfield added: “What people think outside our group won’t affect us at all.

“I want to play well, but so does everyone else who’s going out there. What I can say is we’ll give it our best shot. We are very, very motivated about going, playing well and doing our best.”

Meanwhile, Leeds boss Brian McDermott said he knows his starting 13 for Wembley, but has yet to decide on his full bench.

McDermott, who named his side five days before last year’s final, said: “We’ve got one or two people we need to check on.

“They aren’t (injury) worries, but it will obviously determine who comes off the bench. I probably could name my 13 now, but we just need to check a couple of spots we’ve got to fill on the bench.”

Hull KR’s Wakefield-born coach Chris Chester said he also has yet to decide on some of his substitutes and insisted Kelly is “touch and go” due to a knee injury.

The former Gold Coast Titans half-back, who has enjoyed a tremendous first season in Super League, has not played since tearing knee ligaments in the Robins’ 26-18 semi-final win over Warrington a month ago.

Chester was among the substitutes when Hull overturned the odds to beat Rhinos in the 2005 Challenge Cup final.

He said: “Preparations have been good so far.

“We are all really looking forward to it.

“It’s great to be involved in a Cup final and we’ll go out there on Saturday and give it a good go.”

Rhinos’ under-19s are in action tomorrow night away to Castleford Tigers (7pm).

Lois Forsell

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