Kevin Sinfield wants Leeds Rhinos response after final loss

Kevin Sinfield

Skipper Kevin Sinfield is urging Leeds Rhinos to lift themselves for the final games of the season despite being left disappointed by another Wembley defeat.

Since beating London Broncos by a record 52-16 in 1999, Leeds have lost their last six Challenge Cup finals.

"Ultimately it's a game and we've just got to get back up off the canvas and go again," he told BBC Sport.

"The lads have put so much in throughout the year. We're obviously disappointed, but still alive."

Sinfield added: "Far worse things than that can happen in the world.

"It does hurt. In fact, it hurts a great deal. Your family's here, your friends are here and it's tough. But the best team won.

"We gave too many penalties away and they're too good a side to do that against. At times, we struggled to get out of our own 40, but it showed how well Warrington played."

Leeds, badly missing the injured Danny McGuire, made a piece of wanted piece of rugby league history by becoming the first team in over 100 years to end up as beaten Challenge Cup finalists three years in a row.

But it should not be forgotten that they have also won the Grand Final four times in the past four years.

And the most recent of those triumphs, just under 11 months ago, their first under Brian McDermott, came on the back of an end-of-season resurgence following their 28-18 Challenge Cup final defeat by Wigan, at the root of which was their second-half Burrow-inspired performance.

It was another slice of second-half Wembley drama that proved the tipping point on Saturday, Leeds shipping three tries in 10 minutes straight after being crucially disallowed one of their own from Brett Delaney for a Kylie Leuluai knock-on.

But Sinfield refused to get drawn into any criticism of the two main officials, Richard Silverwood or video referee Phil Bentham.

"I'm not one to moan about refereeing decisions," he added. "But it certainly hurt us from then on.

"Warrington seemed to get momentum from that.

"They played the last 30 minutes really well and sometimes you should have to hold your hands up and compliment the opposition."

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