Captains ready for Northern Rail Cup challenge
Halifax and Leigh Centurions Captains Sean Penckywicz and Stuart Donlan will put their friendship to one side when they go head-to-head in this season’s Northern Rail Cup final at Blackpool’s Bloomfield Road on Sunday July 17 (5.00pm).
Penckywicz and Donlan played together at Halifax during the club’s time in Super League and they were also teammates at Huddersfield, but now on the opposite side of the pitch, the respective captains will be going all out to ensure they leave Blackpool with the bragging rights.
“Playing in any final is big for a players career and I know everyone in the squad is really looking forward to the day,” said Leigh Centurions Captain Stuart Donlan. “Halifax beat us a few weeks ago in the league but it will be a totally different game this time around. It’s a one off game and everything is on the line for this game and we’ll be going all out to win the trophy.
“I played with Sean at a few clubs and I have a few other friends in the Halifax squad as well but for that 80 minutes it’s all about the game and winning the trophy - friendships go on hold for the game.
“It was a setback for us losing against Halifax a few weeks ago but we’ve bounced back from that and we’ve been over to France and had a good win over there and hopefully we can go into the final on the back of another win and concentrate on getting our own mini revenge against Halifax by winning the trophy.
“Once you’re in a final you are in it to win it and that’s what we’ll be going out to do on July 17.”
Leigh were knocked out of the tournament at the semi-final stage last season by eventual champions Batley Bulldogs while Halifax made up for their poor showing in last season’s Northern Rail Cup by defeating Featherstone in the Co-operative Championship Grand Final, but hooker Penckywicz says victory in the Northern Rail Cup is something everyone at the club is aiming for.
“I’m looking forward to the game,” said Halifax Captain Sean Penkywicz. “This is one we put down on the calendar at the start of the year and one we’re looking forward to. It’s been an achievement to get here and we’re looking forward to hopefully going home with the trophy.
“We’ll go into the game concentrating on our own game and ensuring that we put in a good performance which is what we’ve done every time we’ve been in a final and it’s worked out well for us so far. In the last few weeks we’ve been playing a lot better than we did at the start of the season but this is just a one off game and we can’t take anything for granted.
“It’s a day out for the fans where they can enjoy the game and Blackpool itself as a place and hopefully all the Halifax fans will have a good day and we’ll come away from Blackpool as champions.”
Tickets for the 2011 Northern Rail Cup Final at Bloomfield Road, Blackpool, on Sunday July 17 cost from just £12 for adults (£5 concessions) and are available by calling the RFL Ticket Office on 0844 856 11 13 or by visiting www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk
To keep up to date with all the latest news from the Northern Rail Cup follow @RLChampionships on Twitter.
For more details on Northern Rail visit http://www.northernrail.org/
Why not spend the weekend in Blackpool! For information, offers and where to stay visit www.visitblackpool.com/rugby