Leeds Rhinos win Wheelchair Rugby League Challenge Cup

Leeds Rhinos made it third time lucky in the Wheelchair Rugby League Challenge Cup final with a 74-46 victory over Kent side Argonaut Skeleton Army at English Institute of Sport in Sheffield on Saturday.

Sunday, 18th August 2019, 11:36 am
Leeds Rhinos captain James Simpson. Picture Alex WhiteheadSWpix.com

Rhinos had lost their previous two Challenge Cup finals, but produced a dominant 15-try performance to add the trophy to this season's league leaders' prize.

Josh Butler, a 17-year-old A-level student from Brigshaw High School, scored five of Leeds' 15 tries and 18-year-old Nathan Collins, who bagged a brace, was named player of the match.

Collins said: “I’m not bothered about the award, just the win.

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Rhinos celebrate their Challenge Cup final win. Picture Dean Atkins/SWpix.com

"It’s special being the first time we’ve won it. I started playing when I was 10, and I’ve been a Rhinos fan all my life.”

Butler added: “I’ve grown up supporting the Rhinos and it just so happened they had a wheelchair team.

"I joined just before I turned 11, and I’m 17 now. I’m still the youngest in the team, I just do what I have to do when it comes to scoring the tries.

"I am a winger, but there are times in a game especially in defence when it’s that fast and hectic you have to go everywhere.”

Cup final action. Picture Dean Atkins SWpix.com

Rhinos captain James Simpson, who scored two tries, hailed a "great day for the club".

He said: “We suffered some big defeats when we started playing a few years ago, but we’ve grown up together.

"Nathan and Josh were both outstanding and it’s exciting to think how good they could become – especially as we look ahead to [the World Cup in] 2021, but this was a real team effort, and I think our strength in depth made a big difference."

Rhinos' other try scorers were Ryan Richardson with three, Jodie Boyd-Ward (two) and Tom Halliwell.

Halliwell added four goals Collins two and Ewan Clibbens one.

Argonauts try scorers were Lewis King 4, James Hazel 2, Fred Nye 2 and Joe Coyd. Nye added five goals.

The victorious Leeds team will be invited to Wembley next Saturday, when St Helens face Warrington Wolves in the men's Coral Challenge Cup final, along with the Rhinos players who won the women's competition last month.