Kevin Sinfield believes that it has been too long since the Leeds Rhinos have had their hands on the Tetley’s Challenge Cup and so to beat St Helens at Headingley Carnegie Stadium in the fifth round on Saturday (2.30pm) is a must.
The Rhinos skipper is all too aware of the four Challenge Cup finals his team have made it to and lost in the last ten years and he is determined to get it right this time out.
“The Challenge Cup is a great competition and the magic is not lost on us,” said Sinfield. “We are a fantastic club and it has been too long since we have had our hands on that trophy.
“We’ve been in a couple of finals and simply not been good enough on the day so we are just taking it step by step by this year. To get through to the next round is really important to us and so hopefully we can be good enough on Saturday.”
Leeds have hit a superb run of form recently, beating Bradford Bulls and Salford Red Devils over Easter, but their opposition are looking equally as good, with the two teams sitting near the top of the table.
Sinfield, therefore, is not underestimating the task at hand and Saints have already beaten Leeds this season – in round seven of the First Utility Super League.
“We played them a few weeks ago and they beat us,” said Sinfield. “They had a few injuries but they brought out some young boys and they were fantastic, they thoroughly deserved to win.
“We have to remember that it’s not just the key players, the faces that you recognise that we have to focus on because if you do, those young boys will get you. It is a massive challenge and we need to be at the top of our game and put in a strong performance.”
“We are confident going into the game, we are not in a bad place at the moment and Brian McDermott has had the luxury of being able to rotate the team in recent weeks which is an advantage,” said Sinfield. “Fingers crossed we will go into the game at full strength and fully fit.
“We are excited and looking forward to the challenge. Saints are a great team and they have been brilliant so far this season but we have the home advantage. It’s great that the game will be on the BBC, showcasing Rugby League to a wider audience and I just hope we can get the win and progress through to the Quarter Finals.”
Tickets for the Tetley’s Challenge Cup fifth round game on Saturday April 26 at the Headingley Carnegie are available from as little as £17 for adults, £10 for concessions and £5 for juniors.
Tickets for the 2014 Tetley’s Challenge Cup final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday August 23 cost from as little as £22 and can be purchased by calling the 24-hour Ticket Hotline on 0844 856 1113 or by visiting www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk.