Saturday sees themuch awaited all Yorkshire Final between Leeds Rhinos and Castleford Tigers inthe Challenge Cup final. Wembley will host the event that marks the showpiece ofthe Rugby League calendar by welcoming two of the form teams in the SuperLeague this season (currently Leeds are 3rd, Castleford 5th)for what promises to be a close, but exciting tussle. They have already playedtwice this season, Leeds winning 22-14 away at Wheldon Road and the other game endingin a 24-24 draw, but the league form often counts for nothing when the cupcomes around.

Both teams suffereddefeats in the league in their latest round of matches, as they experimented alittle with their squad players. Leeds were humbled by bottom of the tableLondon Broncos, while Cas were heavily beaten by in form Warrington Wolves. Nomajor injuries were paramount in those games though, and both still sit handilyplaced for the playoffs come the end of the regular season.

Leeds have sufferedheartache in the cup in recent seasons, losing in the final six times(including three in a row between 2010 and 2012) since they last won againstLondon Broncos in 1999.

Cas have to go back even further to 1986 for their lastof four cup final successes, having been runners up in 1992.

Experience of theWembley atmosphere may be seen to be an advantage for many of the Rhinosplayers, but it could also provide a mental block should the match becometight. In which case they will need to draw on their rich pedigree in the SuperLeague playoffs, where they have won the trophy five times in the last sevenseasons.

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They boast internationals such as Kevin Sinfield (captain and ‘MrConsistency’ in the kicking department), Danny McGuire (try poacherextraordinaire), Ryan Hall (a winger who can save tries besides scoring them) ,the 'ageless" Jamie Peacock (a deserved man of the match in their tightsemi final victory over Warrington), pocket rocket Rob Burrow...the list goeson.

Not that Cas arethere to make up the numbers, as captain and England international MichaelShenton will be keen to assert on the day.

Coach Daryl Powell has been keen todraw on the experiences of ex heroes like Kevin and Bob Beardmore who starredin the 1986 triumph, besides their winning coach that year, Malcolm Reilly whohad two spells playing for Castleford besides playing for England and GB. Theirplayers may not be household names but their team ethic all season makes them areal threat, especially in the one off of the cup, as was ably demonstrated intheir dominant victory over Widnes in the semis.

They have up and coming starslike ‘Man of Steel’ (outstanding player in the British game for the season) contenderDaryl Clark at hooker (opposite Burrow), tipped to be an England star of thefuture, besides veterans such as 34 year old forward Andy Lynch. Pitting hiskicking skills against Sinfield’s will be Mark Sneyd, a real hit on loan fromSalford for the season and don’t forget the man of the match in the Widnessemi, Luke Dorn.

Phil Bentham willreferee the final , whilst Reilly represents an ideal choice as Chief Guestincluding the presentation of the trophy to the winning team, as he has hadcoaching spells at both Castleford and Leeds during his career. 
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