LEEDS RHINOS’ determination to hold on to the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup was one of the messages to come out of the 24-6 quarter-final win at Hull, coach Brian McDermott said.
Missing six first-choice players, Rhinos produced one of their most rugged performances of the season to record a second victory over Hull in the space of a week.
That secured their 15th Challenge Cup semi-final spot of the summer era, which began in 1996 and they are only one win away from a fifth Wembley appearance in six seasons.
McDermott reckons their performance at KC Stadium proved winning the trophy last year, for the first time since 1999, has not lessened Rhinos’ hunger for Cup success.
He said: “If there’s any theory that because we won last year we’re not really bothered this year, I think you have to be there and win it to experience it to truly understand how wrong you are.
“It’s a funny one. I don’t feel like we’re defending it, I don’t think there’s a case of it’s ours and you have to do a bit extra to get it off us.
“We all start from the same standpoint. We’ve got to attack it, like everybody else. I’d like to be there again and I know the the players would. I’d like to win it again and I know the players would.
“I think that was on show [on Friday night].”
Meanwhile, Rhinos’ under-19s were beaten 30-18 at Wigan Warriors. Nick Rawsthorn, Matty While and Ben Frankland scored tries and Joe Sanderson kicked three goals.