Sat 29th Aug 3:15pm at Wembley Stadium
The annual pilgrimage for Rugby League fans to our national stadium is almost upon us, in a culmination that sees Hull KR face off against defending champions Leeds Rhinos. Both teams have seen off fierce opponents to book a place in the final, and will not squander any opportunity to lift the coveted trophy on the 29th.
Hull KR have only ever won the Challenge Cup once, which was almost 30 years ago. In their first final since 1986, they will be seen as clear underdogs, but as we all know, anything can happen in a Wembley final.
- Ken Sio
- Josh Mantellato
- Ben Cockayne
Road to the Final:
Hull have seen off some tough opposition in their path to the Challenge Cup Final, banishing Wolves, Warriors and Dragons in a true display of overcoming the odds. Their biggest victory on the road to Wembley was a Round 6 overturning of 19-time champions, Wigan Warriors. It was a nail biter for Hull with the Warriors leading 12-10, but with eight minutes to spare Ken Sio scored a match winning try, with a further conversion by Josh Mantellato to finish the match 16-12. Ken Sio went on to score two sublime tries against Catalan Dragons in the quarter finals to complete a scoreline of 24-0 after 28 minutes. But after a Dragons onslaught that threatened to ruin their lead, the Rovers managed to extend their lead and finish on 32-26 by the end of the hard-fought match. In the semi-final, winger Mantellato proved his worth by scoring five goals from six attempts, added key penalties and made crucial tackles to help the Rovers overcome Warrington Wolves to the tune of 26-18.
In their entire history Leeds Rhinos have won the Challenge Cup 12 times, one of these wins being just last year. That will set them up as firm favourites to lift the trophy once again at Wembley Stadium, in front of thousands of Leeds fans who would have made the journey south to watch their team become triumphant once again.
- Kevin Sinfield
- Zak Hardaker
- Jamie Peacock
Road to the Final:
In comparison to their fellow finalists, the Rhinos have had a fairly straightforward route to Wembley, having dealt with Huddersfield Giants, Hull FC and St Helens prior to their 29th August showdown. After scoring four tries in twenty minutes in their Round 6 tie against Huddersfield Giants, the Rhinos could not be stopped. It was Captain Kevin Sinfield who not only guided his team to an eventual 48-16 victory over their opponents, but scored eight goals in the process. Tries from Joel Moon, Kallum Watkins and Zak Hardaker assisted Leeds in brushing Hull FC aside in the quarter finals, with a scoreline of 24-6 displaying an overall Rhinos dominance. Zak Hardaker scored his 150th career try in a tense semi-final standoff with St Helens, which added to a full time score of 24-14, putting Leeds into the final. The fast-paced tempo of the game took its toll on some, including Jamie Jones-Buchanan, who was stretchered off and is now out for 9 months with a knee injury, meaning he will miss the final at Wembley.