Leeds Rhinos Jury: Result justifies pre-final confidence

Brian McDermott
Brian McDermott
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We only went and did it again! After many years of hurt we’ve now won the Challenge Cup two years in a row.

I was very confident the boys would come up with the goods and defeat a Hull KR team that had overcome many odds to reach this year’s final, defeating Catalan Dragons, Wigan and Warrington on the way.

The odds once more were stacked against Rovers, who will be very disappointed in their performance in what was a crushing defeat by the Rhinos.

In the build up to the game on the way down to Wembley and in and around the ground, the atmosphere was fantastic.

Rovers’ fans turned out in numbers, hoping for an upset but the Leeds faithful were in fine voice and full of confidence. And when Brett Delaney opened the scoring early on we knew we were on our way to another victory.

Brian McDermott rightly praised our second rowers who often go under the radar, but Carl Ablett, Delaney and Stevie Ward were faultless, and that gave the rest of the team a platform to build on.

Danny McGuire and Sir Kev controlled the game as they have done on many occasion, our props worked hard against a Rovers pack that didn’t have chance to get going all game, and once more our backs were ruthless in going forward, especially the Lance Todd Trophy winner, the record-breaking, the history-making Tom Briscoe, who bagged and amazing FIVE tries. Kallum Watkins again showed us why he is THE best centre in the world.

Briscoe must love playing alongside that man.

I felt a bit for Jimmy Keinhorst, who missed out on the 17 in the place of Mitch Achurch. Keinhorst has been in great form this year but I’m guessing McDermott was thinking that Achurch would make more of an impact off the bench.

I’m sure Jimmy will play in a few finals during his career.

It’s our old rivals Saints up next.

Another win and we will have one hand on the League Leaders Shield, and how we’re playing at the moment I can’t see St Helens getting any joy on Friday night.

Let’s hope we don’t take our foot off the gas like last year.

I’m sure McDermott won’t let that happen again.

The treble is well and truly on!

CRAIG TARBOTTON

One from three! That seemed to be the message that was coming from the Leeds camp straight after the game.

A post-match huddle on the hooter immediately saw Leeds put their attention to Saints this Friday. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Leeds so determined and focused to win every trophy going.

I don’t think anyone saw a 50-0 score line coming either.

Leeds were ruthless from the off. I can barely remember Hull KR getting near our line in the first half. We repeatedly attacked Hull’s left-hand side.

Hats off to Brian McDermott for his tactics in a final once again. And didn’t it reap the rewards. Tom Briscoe looks as though he has never been away. Some great finishing. I don’t think five tries from one man in a final will ever be beaten.

Our forward pack dominated for the whole game, with Jamie Peacock leading the way.

Had it not been for Briscoe’s tries he would have been my man of the match.

It’s a shame he had the ball stolen from his grasp so close to the Hull line – a try eventually scored by Brett Delaney.

At the moment we don’t seem to be missing hooker Paul Aiton; I hope that continues!

This Friday is probably a bigger game for Saints than Leeds.

But let’s hope we can reverse the result from when we played St Helens after last season’s cup final.

JON WINTER

I thought this game would be much closer. Many records broken and congratulations to Tom Briscoe.

We were patient when we needed to be and clinical with our scoring opportunities. A fitting final send-off for the players leaving at the end of the season.

DIANNE HALL

THAT WAS awesome from Leeds Rhinos and without even having to go through the gears. If we had done then we could have been looking at a bigger winning margin.

We executed everything perfectly well in all departments, not a weakness anywhere in the team. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect us to score 50 and to nil them as well in a final – exceptional

To see Kylie Leuluai, Jamie Peacock and Kevin Sinfield get another winner’s medal was fantastic and for Achurch, Cuthbertson, Garbutt and Singleton to get there first medals.

Lizzie Jones singing Abide with Me outshone everything on the day. Yes, I cried.

Now, no cup-winning hangover versus St Helens on Friday please!

GRAHAM POULTER

What an absolutely fantastic performance from the whole team to bring home the Challenge Cup for a second consecutive year.

St Helens at home tomorrow, but there will be no Wembley hangover this year; we need a strong grip on top spot with another win.”

JAMIE SMITH

Leeds Rhinos took the first piece of silverware this season, in an outstanding display at Wembley.

Hull KR just couldn’t get into the game. Any chance they did get was quickly closed down by the great defensive performance from Leeds.

The game was a record breaking 50-0. What an impressive last Wembley game to have for Jamie Peacock, Kevin Sinfield and Kylie Leuluai.

Tom Briscoe scored five tries and will have certainly added his name to rugby league history.

Next we face Saints at home. I hope, on the back of this, we keep to winning ways in the Super-8s.

And we don’t want to have a downward turn like this time last season.

ANNE BOSANQUET

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