Fans hail Rhinos ‘best ever’ after Wembley win

Rhinos fans at Wembley v Hull KR Challenge Cup Final
Rhinos fans at Wembley v Hull KR Challenge Cup Final
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A wave of blue and amber washed over Wembley as Rhinos fans roared their team on to Challenge Cup glory.

Thousands of fans travelled down to London for Saturday’s showpiece match against Yorkshire rivals Hull KR.

From replica shirts to fancy dress, Rhinos supporters created a carnival atmosphere at the national stadium - particularly during the brass band’s pre-match performance of club anthem Marching On Together - as they saw their heroes lift the trophy for the second successive year.

As they made the iconic walk along Wembley Way to the national stadium, not even the most ardent supporter would have predicted the 50-0 victory - one of the biggest winning margins in the competition’s history.

The performance prompted many fans to describe this Rhinos side as the “best ever”.

Sandra Coop, 58, of Leeds, who was at Wembley with her husband Steve and grandsons Joshua Angus and Jack Cook, was expecting a tight match.

“I thought it would be a lot closer than that,” she said.

“But we have a great squad and they were determined to win, no matter what.

“They were absolutely superb. They could not have played any better.”

Many Rhinos fans headed to London hoping to see a piece of history.

And they were not disappointed as legendary club figures Kevin Sinfield, Jamie Peacock and Kylie Leuluai won on their last appearances at Wembley.

There were cheers of delight from the fans as each of the trio lifted the famous trophy.

Craig Scholefield, 42, of Pudsey, said: “It could not have been a better Wembley farewell for Sinfield, Peacock and Leuluai.

“It was absolutely fantastic.

“Leeds are on fire at the moment.

“They are so strong. Nobody can stop them.”

For some Rhinos fans it was their first experience of Wembley - and they enjoyed every minute of it.

Sophie Binks, 18, of Leeds, said: “It was amazing.

“All the tries were great.

“It was the first time I’ve been down here.

“I had an epic time and I’m going to do it again.”

Speaking on Wembley Way, Andy Willis, of Tingley, said he was enjoying the whole experience.

“I’ve been looking forward to the atmosphere - 80,000 fans in Wembley,” he said.

For Chris Chapman, 54, of Pickering, it was a welcome return to Wembley after seeing the Rhinos lose on several occasions at the old stadium.

Ollie Baxter, 23, also of Pickering, enjoyed being part of a big crowd at Wembley for the final.

Fans from many other clubs also contributed to the atmosphere - including some Catalan Dragons fans who had come over from France for the big match.

And there were some wearing Danny Jones shirts in memory of the Keighley Cougars star who died earlier this year after collapsing during a match.

His widow Lizzie Jones gave a moving performance of the traditional cup final hymn Abide With Me, greeted by a standing ovation from the crowd.