Leeds Rhinos led 16-0 at half-time in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup Final against Hull Kingston Rovers at Wembley this afternoon, and they extended their lead to 44-0 at the final to create a new record for the winning margin in a Challenge Cup Final in front of 80,140 spectators.
On an emotional afternoon, when the RFL unveiled the Wembley statue and Lizzie Jones, the widow of the recently deceased Keighley player Danny Jones, sang the Cup Final anthem Abide With Me, the Rhinos were merciless in punishing Hull KR errors.
Their first try came after five minutes when Jamie Peacock almost scored, but had the ball stolen and, when it came loose, Brett Delaney pounced to touch down, with captain Kevin Sinfield adding the goal.
Their second try came on 18 minutes shortly after a knock-on by Hull KR skipper Tyrone McCarthy. Centre Joel Moon gave the final pass for Danny McGuire to touch down, with Sinfield again goaling.
And two minutes later they scored again, this time through Tom Briscoe, who stepped inside and beat several defenders to touch down, although this time Sinfield’s kick hit the post.
Fortunately the Robins were able to stem the tide, but without looking as though they could score themselves.
And six minutes into the second half the contest was effectively over, when Tom Briscoe collected a poor Maurice Blair kick to race 90 metres to touch down, with Ken Sio catching him on the line but unable to prevent him touching down. Sinfield converted from the touchline.
Brad Singleton then extended the Rhinos’ lead again on 57 minutes, with Sinfield’s goal opening the gap to 28 points.
With 15 minutes remaining Briscoe scored his hat-trick and Rob Burrow then touched down before Briscoe got his fourth near the end. Sinfield converted the last two scores to extend the lead to 44-0.
And Briscoe rounded off the scoring with two minutes remaining, after another dropped ball from Kieran Dixon, touching down for his fifth try to round off a humiliating afternoon for the Robins, with Sinfield’s conversion giving a 50-point winning margin.