Support the key for Sinfield
Leeds captain Kevin Sinfield has called on the Rhinos’ supporters to turn out en mass on Saturday and turn Huddersfield’s Galpharm Stadium into a sea of blue and amber for their Carnegie Challenge Cup semi-final against Wigan Warriors (5.30pm).
Sinfield has experienced the agony of two successive Challenge Cup final defeats, last year at the hands of this weekend’s opponents, and is keen to make amends for that and ensure the Rhinos faithful experience a successful journey to Wembley on August 25.
“We have a terrific following and hopefully we can turn the stadium blue and amber this weekend,” said Sinfield. “I’ve played in some great semi-finals previously at the Galpharm when we’ve had some massive support.
“When our fans turn out in their numbers they’re like an 18th man for us and to have a big following there on Saturday would be a great boost for the players and hopefully they can get behind us and share in some great memories.
“The Cup has evaded us in recent years but it’s certainly not for the want of trying. We haven’t been good enough on the day in finals and we haven’t deserved to win this competition yet but hopefully we’ll get another shot this year to turn that around.”
Sinfield was part of the Rhinos squad that fell to a heavy 50-8 defeat at the hands of Wigan earlier this season and Sinfield is all too aware of the challenge facing his charges on Saturday but he’s determined to make it to Wembley once again.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to play in a number of semi-finals now and they’re always great occasions, but only if you win them,” he said. “We’re going up against a great team who gave us a heavy beating just over a month ago.
“But we’re ready for it. In the last few weeks we’ve picked things up a bit and thankfully so hopefully we can continue that run and turn up on Saturday and get to the intensity we need to.
“We need to be at our best to beat Wigan. I think the great thing about our team is that we have a lot of experience of being in these situations and we’ve been able to draw on that in the past.
“The Challenge Cup final is a great occasion. I watched it as a kid and grew up with it and played in a curtain raiser in 1992 at the Old Wembley which was unbelievable but I’ve not won there yet and tasted the victory that some past players have spoken about. Unfortunately I don’t have those great memories of lifting the cup yet.
“Our club’s about winning trophies and bringing silverware back. For me just making it to a semi-final is falling short.”
Tickets for the Carnegie Challenge Cup semi-final, Leeds Rhinos v Wigan Warriors at The Galpharm Stadium on Saturday July 14 (5.30pm) cost from just £18 adult and £9 concession and can be purchased by calling the RFL Ticket office on 0844 856 1113 or visiting www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk
Tickets for the 2012 Carnegie Challenge Cup Final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday August 25 cost from just £21 and are now on sale. Family tickets giving access to one of British sport’s most historic fixtures to two adults and two children are also available, priced £55 or £79.
To purchase tickets please call the RFL Ticket Office on 0844 856 1113 or visit www.carnegiechallengecup.co.uk/