Leeds Rhinos winger Tom Briscoe admits last year’s Challenge Cup Final defeat with Hull FC was a low point in his career – but says he’s determined to finally put his painful Wembley memories to bed by lifting the cup with the Rhinos this Saturday.
Briscoe was part of the Hull team that lost 16-0 to Wigan Warriors last year, and is seeking to go one better with the Rhinos in 2014 – winning their first Challenge Cup in 15 years in the process. And the winger told TotalRL.com that part of his motivation heading into the game is to finally put that heartache to the back of his mind – as well as helping his teammates to end their horrific hoodoo with the cup.
“Anyone who you speak to that played that day will admit it was a very low point in their career, and I’m no different,” Briscoe said. “It’s a bit of a mixed feeling really, because we had all the excitement of the buildup and playing at Wembley, but to put a performance in like that was a massive disappointment for everyone involved with the club.
“I’d love to put that to bed and be able to finally look back at it knowing I’ve won the cup.”
“Everything that they’ve achieved within the game is amazing, and to factor in that they’ve never actually won the Challenge Cup is incredible. To be part of this team to finally end that run with this group of players would be something special, and would be definitely be one of the best moments of my career.”
Briscoe admitted the Rhinos are in for a tough afternoon against Castleford Tigers, whilst saying everyone from Yorkshire would have probably plumped for a Leeds v Castleford final when the semi-final draw was made. However, he said that the wealth of Wembley experience the Rhinos have won’t count for much on the day, with Briscoe expecting another tight encounter to follow on from the two thrilling matches the sides have already had this year.
“The way Castleford have been playing this year has been great; it’s been great for the competition to have another team up there challenging. You can look at the Wembley experience we’ve got, but that doesn’t necessarily always count for more when it comes to getting a result,” he said.
“I think if you’re from Yorkshire it’d certainly be the final you’d want to pick! We’ve had two very tight games with each other so far this year, and we’ve managed to have the upper hand in one of those. I’m sure it’ll be the same again at Wembley on Saturday, and come gameday hopefully we’ll be on top come the end and lifting that cup up high.”