A YEAR ago today Leeds Rhinos took the first step on a road which was to lead to Wembley and Challenge Cup final glory.
Rhinos, who were facing Wakefield Trinity Wildcats in Super League this afternoon, travelled to the same opposition for a fourth-round tie in the Challenge Cup.
The Sunday afternoon fixture came a week after Rhinos had suffered their first league defeat of the season, going down 14-10 at under-strength St Helens.
With the capacity at Belle Vue having been cut due to ground safety issues, only 4,482 fans turned up to witness an attacking masterclass from the visitors.
That led to a prediction from Wakefield coach Richard Agar that Leeds would go on to lift the Cup – and four months later he was proved right.
Leeds ran in 11 tries, five of them in a 13-minute spell at the end of the opening period, which ensured the game was over as a contest before half-time, when Wakefield trailed 32-6
Rhinos began slowly and it was 18 minutes before they found a way through, Rob Burrow making a trademark dart from acting-half to cross at the corner.
Kevin Sinfield landed the first of his eight conversion and then offloaded to send Carl Ablett over for the second try.
Danny McGuire went over following a mistake by Peter Fox, who was one of seven ex-Leeds players in the Wildcats line-up and then Burrow’s long pass created a try for Ryan Hall.
Ablett added his second try before Wakefield were given a glimmer of hope when Pita Godinet dummied his way over, but Ablett’s break led to a second try for Hall just before the interval.
Wakefield may have expected Leeds to ease off in the second half, but Mitch Achurch added their next touchdown after just five minutes and Liam Sutcliffe, back in the team following a month on loan at Bradford Bulls, also crossed.
There was then a 20-minute break in the scoring until Tom Briscoe raced clear to touch down after intercepting Ali Lauitiiti’s offload, Burrow jinked his way over and Joel Moon scored the final try, from Sinfield’s kick.
(Try: Godinet. Goal: Sykes)
Leeds Rhinos 60 (Tries: Burrow 2, Ablett 2, Hall 2, McGuire, Achurch, Sutcliffe, Briscoe, Moon. Goals: Sinfield 8)
Challenge Cup, round four April 6, 2014
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats: Mathers, Fox, Collis, Sykes, Lyne, Sammut, Godinet, Anderson, McShane, Moore, Lauitiiti, Kirmond, Washbrook. Subs: D Smith, Tautai, Scruton, Ryan.
Leeds Rhinos: Hardaker, T Briscoe, Wakins, Moon, Hall, McGuire, Sinfield, Leuluai, Burrow, Peacock, Delaney, AbLett, Kirke. Subs: S Ward, Bailey, Achurch, Sutcliffe.
Referee: James Child.