On Challenge Cup Final weekend, we’re looking back at the very best Cup Final performances from teams on their way to glory.
5. Hull FC 2016
They may have only won by two points, but the Black and Whites produced one of the all-time great Challenge Cup Final performances to break their Wembley curse. It was final in which both Warrington and Hull showed cased their brilliance. If the Wolves had come away with the trophy, they’d have made this list in Hull’s place. But in the end, this final was all about Hull and a brilliant performance from the Black and Whites as they overcame a 10-0 deficit saw them claim their first Challenge Cup in 11 years.
4. Leeds Rhinos 1999
In a very different final, Leeds ploughed through London to claim a record-breaking victory. That said, the memory of this final has been oversimplified. The Rhinos trailed early on and needed to show real guts to turn things around. Eventually, a Ryan Sheridan masterclass complimented by the brilliance of Iestyn Harris and co culminated in a landslide Leeds win with Leroy Rivett crossing for four tries and Barrie McDermott rumbling through for a superb solo score.
3. Warrington Wolves 2019
No one believed Warrington could win the 2019 Challenge Cup Final. They were coming up against a brilliant St Helens side who had been all-conquering for two seasons and seemed headed for the treble. Talisman Blake Austin was absent forcing the Wire to play second-rower Ben Currie in the halves. However, the Wolves came up with a tactical masterclass to frustrate the favourites. That on its own was never going to be enough however. It needed to be complimented by world class defence and it was as the Wolves came up with a historic victory to keep the Saints waiting for Challenge Cup glory.
2. Warrington Wolves 2010
Perhaps even more historic than that was their victory nine years earlier. The Wolves were coming up against the reigning Super League Champions who had won the last three Grand Finals and had endless big game experience. Plenty were tipping the Rhinos to claim the crown and add to their trophy haul only for the Wolves to play them off the park winning the game 30-6 thanks to a spectacular Ryan Atkins try and a hat-trick from Chris Hicks.
1. Leeds Rhinos 2015
The Rhinos won 50-0, didn’t concede, claimed the record for the biggest winning margin in a cup final and played some scintillating rugby. To me, you can’t look beyond a showing like that. It was the most clinical and complete final display you’re ever going to see. Brian McDermott’s side outwitted the Robins who were expecting a left-edge assault but were instead hit down the right time and again as left centre Joel Moon helped overload the flank. Tom Briscoe scored five tries as Leeds played fluid attacking rugby to claim back-to-back Challenge Cups.