Reports: Challenge Cup Final records amazing TV viewing figures

For the first time since 1986, none of Leeds Rhinos, Wigan Warriors, Warrington Wolves and St Helens were in the Challenge Cup Final as Leigh Leopards and Hull KR took centre stage and many questioned how this would impact attendance and viewing figures.

In terms of the attendance, it was expected that 60,000 would be there at least and there was talk that 65,000 could be the maximum.

In the end, only 58,213 were recorded but this wasn’t helped by the fact 20,000 fans were delayed by problems on the M1.

So what about TV figures?

Well on Twitter claimed that it had an average viewership of 784,000 and a peak of 1.1 million.

As for the women’s final that had an average of 150,000 and a 242,000 peak.

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.