Six of the best Challenge Cup Final tries in history

Scoring a try in the Challenge Cup Final would live with a player forever.

Gracing the Wembley turf with their side, crossing the whitewash must be an unbelievable feeling.

But, sometimes, some incredible tries are scored in the capital that are simply breathtaking. Here are six of those.

Henderson Gill – Wigan – 1985

The 1985 Challenge Cup Final between Wigan and Hull FC will go down as the greatest final ever witnessed.

In what was nip and tuck throughout the entire game with Wigan eventually running out 28-24 winners, there were some incredible pieces of play.

Right on half-time, Mike Ford and Brett Kenny took the scruff of the game by the neck. Ford linked with Kenny who sent out a long pass to centre David Stephenson. Gill gleefully received the ball from Stephenson who set off on a 70-yard full-sprint to the line.

Jamie Sandy – Castleford – 1986

There were two magical tries from Castleford in their narrow win over Hull KR in the 1986 Challenge Cup Final, with Tony Marchant’s first-half effort unlucky not to be included on this list.

However, Jamie Sandy’s takes precedence; the elusive John Joyner gets the ball from a scrum, dummies two before offloading to Sandy.

Chased by four Hull KR defenders, the diminutive winger – who stood at just 5’3 – managed to hold all of them off in a spirited 40-metre dash to the line. 1986 was also the last time Castleford lifted the trophy.

Martin Offiah – Wigan – 1994

Every player wants to perform heroics on the biggest stage of the game, few succeed but Martin Offiah certainly did.

This try could quite easily go down as one of the greatest of all time, not just in Challenge Cup Finals, and was the personification of Offiah as a rugby league player.

It combined strength to break through the first line of the Leeds defence, pace to take him beyond the rest of the defence into the wide open spaces of Wembley and awareness of the position of Leeds full back Alan Tait who he beat on the outside, seemingly, effortlessly.

Robbie Paul – Bradford Bulls – 1996

The 95th Challenge Cup Final in 1996 was the 61st to have been held at Wembley and in all of those previous finals, no player had ever scored a hat-trick of tries.

Bradford Bulls’ Robbie Paul, however, would change that and become the first man to score three tries in a Challenge Cup Final, albeit on a losing side.

His first two tries were nothing out of the ordinary but his hat-trick try was true individual brilliance. Paul took the ball on the burst from 60 yards out and used his pace to hit the gaps in a tiring Saints’ defensive line before brilliantly changing direction to round Saints full-back Steve Prescott and dive in under the posts.

Paul Cooke – Hull FC – 2005

After a brilliant 34-8 win over favourites St Helens in the semi-final four weeks earlier, Hull FC went to their first Challenge Cup Final for 20 years as underdogs against Leeds Rhinos.

Converted tries from wingers Mark Calderwood and Marcus Bai gave the Rhinos a five-point lead heading into the final few minutes. However, Hull born Paul Cooke took a firm hold on proceedings. The ball went to the right with Cooke stood on the left side of the FC attack, in a planned move the ball was immediately switched back to Cooke who dummied from 10 yards out to go between two Leeds defender to score a brilliant try.

Brough converted to give FC a 25-24 lead. FC held the Rhinos out for the last few minutes to record a famous victory.

Joel Tomkins – Wigan Warriors – 2011

Yes it is the third Wigan entry on this list, but Joel Tomkins’ effort against Leeds Rhinos in 2011 cannot be missed off. After being set free by brother Sam in his own 20-metre area, big brother Joel cantered down the touchline.

Leeds’ Danny McGuire failed to catch the long-legged second-rower before Tomkins stepped inside fullback Brent Webb and outstretched Jamie Peacock to dot down under the posts.

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