Yesterday, Leigh Leopards defeated Hull KR to lift a first Challenge Cup since 1971 in a great final that will go down as one of the most dramatic and entertaining certainly in the recent history of the competition.
However, there were moments especially in the first half when things threatened to boil over such as in the first minute when Hull KR took exception to a John Asiata tackle, the instance when Elliot Minchella was sin binned and after that as Hull KR claimed a penalty just before the break.
In this moment there was a suggestion of a head butt from Ben Reynolds. Had this been the case, Reynolds would have at least been shown a yellow card if not a red card.
However, this suggestion was dismissed by official Chris Kendall who described it as “rutting heads” rather than a head but from Ben Reynolds.
All told, it was a great game as Hull KR struck first. Elliot Minchella gave away that penalty but immediately made amends as he broke through and found Jez Litten in support to score.
A Tom Briscoe error nearly led to a Tom Opacic try as the ball was kicked ahead. Opacic was then tripped up by Lachlan Lam who went for the ball but it was deemed an accident and no penalty try was given.
Leigh then said anything you can do we can do better as Kai O’Donnell broke through in similar fashion finding Lachlan Lam in support to score.
Minchella’s strange day kept going as he was penalised for a hit on Ben Reynolds and the Leopards took a 10-6 lead as Hull KR went down to 12 men.
Hull KR then nailed a penalty of their own on the stroke of halftime to make it 10-8.
The second half started as the first one ended with a Hull KR penalty as Hull KR drew level at 10-all.
It was then a very tense second half as neither side gave each other an inch. Try scoring sensation Josh Charnley had a chance when he got the ball wide but was held up.
Tom Briscoe scores tries at Wembley like it’s his backyard. Today was his eighth Challenge Cup Final try in his fifth final appearance and his eighth in the last four. He struck a decisive blow in the corner for the Leopards after a sweeping move.
But that try was cancelled out when Parcell touched down to score in the 79th minute after a kick bounced off Zak Hardaker.
However, in the end it was Leigh who will lift the Challenge Cup after a golden point drop goal from Lachlan Lam won the game for the club.