Leeds coach Brian McDermott admits while he is hoping Hull have still got a hangover from their Wembley win at the weekend, he believes tonight’s opponents will be better prepared to deal with the rigours of a Challenge Cup victory this season.
The Rhinos aim to move a step closer to securing a home semi-final in the play-offs by beating the third-placed Black and Whites and moving five points clear of Hull with just three games remaining.
All eyes will be on Lee Radford’s side to see how they cope with another Wembley victory after collapsing this time last year – but McDermott says he thinks they will be better equipped to deal with it this time around.
“I do hope they’ve been in a pub until Tuesday,” McDermott joked. “But I think they’ve got a very credible chance of doing the double, so I think that will be on their mind.
“Last year they were just so pleased to win the Challenge Cup and they would have celebrated hard. But I think this year they will have a bit more about them.
“I know it’s a disruptive week and a short turn-around for them, but I think they will be up for the game for sure.”
“If we beat Hull, we go five points clear and it gives us a bit of distance,” McDermott added. “We’re aiming to make second spot.”
McDermott did, however, admit the enormity of Wembley is a tough thing to deal with in terms of picking your form back up for the Old Trafford run-in.
“Emotionally when you win, it’s a big thing to come down from,” McDermott said.
“If you win, the occasion stays with you longer because you have to go do a parade with the cup and everywhere you go people are talking about it.
“When you lose, everybody avoids you and operationally you pretty much get over on the Monday when you are back into work and everybody has a real focus for the game coming up.”
McDermott will make just one change to the side that beat St Helens before the break for Wembley: Mitch Garbutt will replace Jimmy Keinhorst, who was an unused sub two weeks ago.