Challenge Cup: Castleford and Leeds players preview final
Last updated on .From the section Rugby League
|Tetley's Challenge Cup final - Castleford v Leeds|
|Venue: Wembley Date: Saturday, 23 August Kick-off: 15:00 BST|
|Coverage: Live on BBC One, BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Radio Leeds and BBC Sport website|
West Yorkshire neighbours Castleford Tigers and Leeds Rhinos meet at Wembley on Saturday in what will be a momentous Challenge Cup final for both sides.
Leeds will look to overcome 15 years of cup heartache, including six final losses since their 1999 triumph, while Castleford return to the showpiece event for the first time in more than two decades.
Rhinos half-back Danny McGuire, who is yet to celebrate cup success, and Castleford centre Michael Shenton, making his Wembley debut intent on emulating Tigers' 1986 victory, met first on the BBC's Super League Show to preview the final.
Building up to Wembley
Castleford Tigers centre Michael Shenton: "We have a set of really excited players. It has been a long time since the club has been involved in a final such as this. To be going to Wembley is all the fans have spoken about. Preparation started on Monday and there was real calm and a relaxed feeling about it. The boys are being drip fed information from Daryl (Powell) and his coaching staff. We are aiming to really enjoy the week."
Leeds Rhinos half-back Danny McGuire: "It is different to any other week. The publicity of the game, the build-up is different to any normal Super League round. You have to get your head around that in the early part of the week, get the media stuff out of the way early and then you can then focus on what really matters - the game. I've been fortunate to play in three finals, and, while I've not had the greatest results, the lead-up during the week is very special and something you have to enjoy."
|Challenge Cup final history|
|Wins: 1999, 1978, 1977, 1968, 1957, 1942, 1941, 1936, 1932, 1923, 1910 (required a replay)||Wins: 1986, 1970, 1969, 1935|
|Runners-up: 2012, 2011, 2010, 2005, 2003, 2000, 1995, 1994, 1972, 1971, 1947, 1943 (played over two legs)||Runners-up: 1992|
Head-to-head in 2014
DM: "They have been great games, I always enjoy playing Cas - it is a real good derby. I think this year it has probably overtaken the Leeds-Bradford fixtures of old. They have been two very close games, two very tough games. They are the most improved team in the competition. They deserve to be up there in a final and in the top four (of Super League). Daryl Powell and all the Cas lads deserve a lot of credit for what they have achieved this year."
MS: "It has been a big turnaround for us. We have shocked a lot of people, but in-house it is no real surprise as we have built some real confidence going through this year. We have gained some real big game experience. Games against Leeds have been exciting. They taught us a lesson in the first game and from that we have learnt quite a lot. In the second game over at Headingley there was not much between us really so people look at that and look forward to an exciting game."
Ones to watch
MS: "We have had a couple of boys standing out, grabbing the headlines, Daryl Clark in particular and Marc Sneyd. Daryl is probably the most exciting prospect in the league and most exciting player to watch this season. Some of the things he does are incredible and pretty freakish really. People like Andy Lynch and Oliver Holmes in the pack have been the real driving force and real rocks for us, setting platforms for us all season. They are the guys that don't grab the headlines as much but are just as important as your Daryl Clarks and Marc Sneyds."
DM: "Jamie Peacock is the oldest man in rugby league but he is still playing like a 21-year-old. His stats and his work ethic are unbelievable. He is a real leader and has been a standout player in the competition this year because he keeps putting his hand up every game and is a real warrior. One of our younger players at the back, Zak Hardaker, is relatively new to the scene, but looks like an established pro."
|Road to the final|
|Castleford Tigers||Leeds Rhinos|
|Round four||48-10 v Batley (A)||60-6 v Wakefield (A)|
|Round five||60-16 v Sheffield (H)||32-12 v St Helens (H)|
|Quarter-final||16-4 v Wigan (A)||25-12 v Leigh (H)|
|Semi-final||28-6 v Widnes||24-16 v Warrington|
DM: "We will do some prep on the pitch on Friday which is something we did one year, but in other years we have trained elsewhere. I think it's good because you get a little bit of a feel for the ground and a feel for what it is going to be like on game day."
MS: "I don't really know what to expect. It will be important for us just to get a feel for the place because it is the first time that a lot of our boys have been there. I've watched a few games down there and it is such an intimidating, big stadium so it will be nice to get a run there before the game. I think it might only be 40 minutes before they kick you off, but it will nice to get on there before Saturday to know where you will be playing and to just soak in the atmosphere."
Michael Shenton and Danny McGuire were talking to BBC Super League Show presenter George Riley.