Guest Post from Vanessa Tutzke
Rugby League Challenge Cup – Final 2015
The 2015 Rugby League Challenge Cup final will see Leeds Rhinos take on Hull KR at Wembley on August 29th. Hull KR will be appearing in their first Cup final since 1986, while Leeds will be looking to retain the trophy they won last season.
Leeds And Hull Set Up An All-Yorkshire Final
Leeds will be hot favourites to win the Challenge Cup for the thirteenth time in their history, and in the semi-finals they saw off a tough challenge from St Helens to triumph 24-14. With both teams in the top two in the Super League standings, Leeds continued their fine form against Saints this year to make it three wins out of three in all competitions. With the game finely balanced, it was left to Kallum Watkins to score the decisive try for Leeds. Earlier in the second half, Jamie Peacock had powered through to score a magnificent try for Rhinos to put the Yorkshire side comfortably 18-4 ahead. But Saints fought back following a brace of tries from Mark Percival, before the Watkins try gave Leeds some breathing space. In the other semi-final, underdogs Hull KR also won a closely fought affair, as they defeated Warrington Wolves 26-18. Wolves had come roaring back, after being behind 20-6 at one point, but Shaun Lunt calmed the nerves of Hull KR fans to score a try with only minutes remaining to seal victory for the Humbersiders.
A Big Month For Rugby
A feast for English rugby fans of both codes begins with the Rugby League Challenge Cup final, and is then followed by the Rugby World World Cup..The Challenge Cup final will see Hull KR, currently 12th in the Super League, take on Leeds Rhinos, who are currently top of the table. Leeds have been in blistering form in 2015, with a star-studded line-up too, with giants of the game, such as Danny McGuire, Jamie Peacock, Kevin Sinfield and Ryan Hall. Rhinos have scored more tries (134) and goals (110) than anyone else in the Super League this season (up to and including early August). But Hull KR had four of the top ten try scorers at the same stage of the season, in Albert Kelly, Ken Sio, Josh Mantellato and Kieran Dixon. That said, it’d be hard to predict anything other than a convincing Rhinos victory at Wembley. Beginning less than three weeks after the Rugby League Challenge Cup final will be the Rugby World Cup. In the Rugby World Cup, hosts England are among seven countries that have a realistic chance of winning the competition. Holders New Zealand will be the team to beat as always, but France, Wales and Ireland from the northern hemisphere all have the ability to mount a serious challenge – and win the competition for the first time. Australia and South Africa will also have high expectations. There’s a good chance of it being an England v New Zealand final, and, with home advantage, and exciting backs such as Jack Nowell, Jonathan Joseph and Mike Brown, the hosts should just have enough to be crowned world champions for the first time since 2003.