SIX-TIME FINALIST Rob Burrow says winning the Tetley’s Challenge Cup has “filled a void”.
Burrow was outstanding for Rhinos in Saturday’s 23-10 Wembley victory over Castleford Tigers, which ended a run of six straight defeats since their previous win in 1999 and the hooker/half-back – who is now one of the most decorated players in the club’s history – described Saturday’s success as “a great feeling”.
Burrow said. “It’s not relief, but it’s something we haven’t won before and that makes it special. We have won a lot more than we could ever dream about, but at the same time if we had gone without having won this there would have been a bit of a void. Now Super League is the next target.”
The one thing Rhinos have not achieved is a Cup-league double. Burrow said: “This is new to us in the fact you celebrate for a couple of days and then we know we’ve got a game on Friday.
“After (winning) the Grand Final you celebrate for a couple of days and then go off and do your own thing, whether that’s internationals or holidays.
“When we come back into training we will be smiling, but we’ll be determined to beat Saints because we want to finish top and win Super League.”
Burrow said he was delighted for the Leeds fans, who have endured so much final heartbreak. He said: “It has probably cost them a lot of money and a lot of travelling. The fans of this generation who have been there throughout the last decade will have a bit of satisfaction and relief.
“They have driven up the M1 with sad memories, so it is good for them as well. They’ve supported us through thick and thin, so we’re delighted for them.”
Substitute prop Ryan Bailey now has a Challenge Cup win to celebrate in his testimonial year.
“It’s hard to put it into words,” he said. “Full credit to Mac (coach Brian McDermott). He has had a plan for going through the Challenge Cup, we have all stuck to it and it has paid off.
“It could have been our last chance as a group, so it is great to win it. We stuck to the game plan, we defended well and we snuffed out all their key players, but full credit to Cas, they they kept passing the ball about and they never gave in.”
Brett Delaney set a new record for most Cup final appearances by an Australian and he said: “Fourth time lucky – it is hard to put it into words. I am just pumped for the boys, the ones who have been here longer than me. It is nice to get the win finally, after three losses. No words can do justice to the feeling.
“It is down to a lot of hard work from our coaches, the backroom staff and all the boys. It’s pleasing to get the result.”