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Adam Cuthbertson: Huge Challenge Cup weekend ahead for the Leeds Rhinos club

Leeds Rhinos' Charlotte Booth.
Leeds Rhinos' Charlotte Booth.
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IT IS going to be a big Challenge Cup weekend for the Rhinos with a final tomorrow and semi-final on Sunday.

To get to the Challenge Cup final is a brilliant achievement for the women’s team in our first year and I am proud to coach such an outstanding bunch.

It’s good for all the players and staff, but also the club.

The Rhinos as an organisation have done a lot for us and the support we’ve had from the club has played a big part in what we’ve achieved so far.

A lot of effort has gone into establishing not only an open-age side, but also an under-19s team and to then go and find ourselves in a final in our first season is absolutely brilliant.

The girls definitely deserve it. A lot of hard work has gone in this season so far and they’ve done everything that’s been asked of them.

Lois Forsell.

Lois Forsell.

We didn’t get an easy run to the final; we went away and played a very good Wigan team and that’s never easy at any level, so they deserve every little bit of success they get.

Congratulations to Castleford for getting to the final as well.

They are a good team, in their second year and we know we’re in for a really tough game that will probably go right down to the wire.

We beat them at Headingley in May, but they gave us a good hiding when we went there in pre-season.

To get to the Challenge Cup final is a brilliant achievement for the women’s team in our first year and I am proud to coach such an outstanding bunch.

Adam Cuthbertson

We learned a lot of lessons from that game and I think that really kicked us off.

It was the first game we ever played and it was what we needed at that stage.

We were a new team and we didn’t know what level we were at and Castleford showed us what we needed to do to be competitive in Super League.

At that stage we didn’t have an identity and we didn’t know how we wanted to play.

Adam Cuthbertson.

Adam Cuthbertson.

It was more or less just a trial for us to go out there and see where we were as a team in terms of strength and fitness and where we could match with other sides.

It taught us a good lesson that day and we have only got stronger ever since.

Along with that, we’ve got a lot more depth so we are confident about what we’re capable of, but we know Cas will fancy their chances as well so it should be a good game.

We want to win, obviously, but it’s also important to put on a show on what is a big occasion for the women’s game – but I say that every week.

We don’t just go out to win, we really want to showcase the game.

These girls are a talented bunch and they can play some good rugby.

I think they’ve been proving that week in and week out, but it’ll be even better if they can do it in the final, on the big stage when there’s obviously going to be a lot more attention.

We’ve been training to be ready to do that and I am confident they will handle the occasion.

It’s at a big stadium and different to what they are used to, but they handled it really well when they played at Headingley and there’s some very excited women in the squad who are very keen to get out there and play on that special occasion which is their first final as a Leeds unit.

It would be great to see a lot of Rhinos fans at the game, but it’s a shame it is being played at Warrington.

With the Shield final as well, between Stanningley and Bradford Bulls, there’s four teams involved and they are all from West Yorkshire.

I know nobody could have predicted that, but it is disappointing something couldn’t have been rearranged.

That said, we’re very grateful to the Warrington club.

Speaking of which, the men’s team play Warrington in a semi-final on Sunday and it would be brilliant to win them both.

We will be underdogs against an outstanding Warrington team who are in very good form, but we know what we’re capable of when we get our game right on the day.

Last week was disappointing and not the result or performance we wanted going into the semi-final, but the Cup is a different competition.

It’s special, the boys have trained well this week and we will be giving everything we’ve got to get back to Wembley.

Finally, thanks to everyone for the good wishes following the birth of my son last week and congratulations to Mik Oledzki and his partner on the birth of their daughter.