Challenge Cup: Brierly doesn’t want Leigh cup dream to turn into a nightmare

Ryan Brierley
Ryan Brierley
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HOT PROPERTY Ryan Brierley (pictured) says Leigh Centurions won’t give up their 100 per cent record without a fight when they visit Leeds Rhinos for tonight’s Tetley’s Challenge Cup quarter-final.

The Kingstone Press Championship leaders are unbeaten in all competitions this year – having won all 13 league games, plus three Cup ties – and Brierley said they are looking forward to testing themselves on the big stage.

“Obviously we have had a flying start, we’re unbeaten and confidence is flooding through the team at the moment,” said the ex-Castleford No 7, who has scored 23 tries in the Championship this season. “It is something we are really proud of and we won’t let it go lightly.

“It was certainly an exciting draw for us, Leeds are a team that are greatly admired. It will be a great experience and I’m just hoping it’ll be a positive one for the club and myself.

“They are one of the best teams in the world and on a personal level, I want to test myself against the best players in the world and Leeds Rhinos have certainly got them in abundance.

“If you had asked me at the start of the year would you lose your unbeaten record to Leeds Rhinos, then I think I would have snapped your hand off.

“We’re under no illusions as to how tough this test is going to be, but it is the Challenge Cup, so you never know.”

The last time Leigh defeated Leeds in the Cup was when they lifted the trophy with a 24-7 victory in the final at Wembley in 1971.

“I’ve dreamed from round one,” said Brierley. “With every round that passes you get one step closer to the final – it is every boy’s dream to play at Wembley.

“It is certainly something I have dreamed about many times and I am really humbled and privileged to be in the position I am, in this moment in time.

“I certainly look at it that way: that we’re two games away from Wembley and achieving a childhood dream of playing in a final. If it’s not this year then maybe next year – but hopefully that dream will come true one day.”

Centurions head of rugby Derek Beaumont said coach Paul Rowley has been the catalyst for the team’s record-breaking start to the season.

He said: “Paul is a winner, a born achiever who is a fierce competitor, always looking to test himself and striving to improve. I am delighted with the whole team’s performance.

“I would not say I expected to be in this position, but nor am I surprised to be in it. We set our goals at the beginning of the season and I for one realise while we are in a good place, we haven’t yet achieved them.”

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