Challenge Cup: Lucky Lunt sets sights on a third ‘loan final’

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MATCH-WINNER SHAUN Lunt has put his incredible record of reaching finals down to good fortune.

Lunt is looking forward to a third Wembley appearance after his late try helped steer Hull KR to a shock 26-18 win over Warrington Wolves in Saturday’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup semi-final at Headingley.

Shaun Lunt scoring the winner for loan club Hull KR against fellow Challenge Cup semi-finalists Warrington.

Shaun Lunt scoring the winner for loan club Hull KR against fellow Challenge Cup semi-finalists Warrington.

The Cumbrian former Castleford Tigers player is on season-long loan from Huddersfield Giants, the side he made his Cup final debut for in 2009. But he had a similar spell with Leeds Rhinos – who Hull KR will face at Wembley on August 29 – in 2012, when he was a Cup runner-up, before playing a part in their Grand Final victory.

“Two loans spells, three finals,” Lunt said. “I just think I have been very fortunate.

“I am privileged and honoured to have played with such good teams and good players.

“There’s some great players who have never played at Wembley and this will be my third time, if all goes well. I feel very fortunate and I would absolutely love a winner’s medal this time. My oldest boy Noah has got my [Grand Final] ring and I’d love to get a Cup winner’s medal for my youngest fella, Jude.”

Hull KR will start as underdogs in the final, but after wins over three teams in Super League’s top-eight, Lunt said they deserve their day in the spotlight.

“We have played some really good rugby, against some quality sides,” the hooker said. “We have beaten Catalans and Wigan, who are a brilliant side and Warrington, who have been in a lot of semi-finals over the last five or six years. We believe in ourselves and it’s all what you do on the day. Your league form goes out the window, if you play well that day, that’s all that matters.

“We’re not bothered about being underdogs, that can spur you on as well. It is probably a little bit better being underdogs, because there’s less pressure.

“As a set of lads, we don’t care what people say about us. We’ve just got to worry about ourselves.

“Leeds are a quality side, there’s no doubt about that. How they played on Friday night was fantastic, but it’s how you play in the final that counts now.

“There’s still three games to go before then. We are looking forward to the final, but at the same time we’ve got our middle-eights fixtures to contend with and there isn’t going to be any easy games. We will put the final to one side and concentrate on our league form first.”

Of his touchdown against Warrington, Lunt said: “I think our defence won us the game. We were two points ahead and the try just eased a lot of nerves, especially when big Mantree [Josh Mantellato] put the conversion over to push the lead out to eight. That just gave us a little cushion. It was fantastic, I love scoring tries, especially in big games, but our defence was absolutely outstanding.”