'We can handle the pressure' - Salford Red Devils skipper says Leeds Rhinos won't catch them cold in Coral Challenge Cup final

Captain Lee Mossop insists Salford Red Devils will not be overawed when they take on Leeds Rhinos at Wembley in today’s (Saturday's) Coral Challenge Cup final.
Lee Mossop. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.Lee Mossop. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.
Lee Mossop. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

Salford have won the Challenge Cup only once, in 1938 and the last time they reached the final was 51 years ago.

But - after years of struggle at the wroing end of the table - they were Betfred Super League Grand Finalists last season and their skipper reckons Salford belong on the big stage.

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“After the Grand Final last year we said we don’t want this to be a flash in the pan,” Mossop - who won the Cup twice with Wigan Warriors, including against Leeds in the 2011 final - said.

“We said we want to start changing people’s perceptions of Salford as a club and us as players.

“To do that you have got to play in these regularly, but for it to mean anything and have a solid effect, I think we have got to win it.

“That’s what we want to do, as a group of players we want to write our own history for ourselves and for the club as well.”

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Mossop is confident Salford won’t freeze when they walk out at Wembley today.

The final is playing behind closed doors, but is still a huge occasion for all involved.

“It is easy to forget how many players we have got in our team who have won Grand Finals and Challenge Cup finals,” Mossop said.

“We’ve got people like Gil Dudson, Mark Flanagan, Kallum Watkins, Kevin Brown - we have players who have played in massive, massive games.

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“I think once the whistle blows it is whichever team puts their best foot forward.

“We are fully focused on our start to the game and we’ll take it from there.”

Coach Ian Watson is confident his men are ready, despite a traumatic week.

Dan Sarginson and ex-Leeds forward Jack Ormondroyd were both ruled out of the final after testing positive for coronavirus and two other players went into isolation before being cleared to play.

“The back end of the week has been brilliant,” Watson said.

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“The first half was unbeliavably disruptive and stressful and we are all good now.”

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