Briscoe’s Wembley dream

Tom Briscoe’s only previous Wembley appearance, in the 2008 Carnegie Challenge Cup final, ended in the disappointment of defeat and the agony of an ankle injury, but it still ranks as the highlight of the Hull winger’s career so far, although one he’s determined to improve on this year.

England star Briscoe is hopeful that the Airlie Birds can see off Leeds Rhinos – despite Friday’s Super League defeat – when they meet again in Sunday’s televised Carnegie Challenge Cup quarter-final at the KC Stadium (3.30pm) and move one step closer to Wembley

“I subbed in the 2008 final against St Helens and then did my ankle ligaments about 15 minutes after coming on,” said Briscoe. “It was a fantastic feeling to play at Wembley but the injury and the team losing gave me very mixed emotions. But, even so, the memories of that game are the highlight of my career so far.

“Most players dream of getting to Wembley and winning and at this stage of my career, I’m happy that I’ve already been to Wembley. But that defeat has made me hungrier to get back there and win – and not get injured this time.

“Having got to a final makes you realise how special it is to be there and everybody wants to play in those big games. Most of the players from that 2008 team are still at the club and know the disappointment of losing and don’t want to go through that again.”

Briscoe was just 15 and watching on TV when Hull last lifted the Cup in 2005 with a dramatic 25-24 last gasp win over quarter-final opponents Leeds in Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.

“I remember watching it on television and hoping that one day I’d get a chance to help lift the Cup,” he said. “Getting to play in the final three years later was a massive achievement but now I want to do it again and win.

“The Hull fans deserve some success after the past few years. We’ve not done too well since that 2008 final but things are starting to look good again and we want to give the fans something to cheer about.”

Hull will need to avenge last year’s fourth round 48-24 defeat by Leeds if they are to progress to the last four this time around and to do that they need to avoid a miserable double. Like this season, Hull played Leeds in the Super League the week before their Cup clash and lost both games and while Hull are again one down in the bragging stakes, Briscoe is convinced his side will have the upper-hand this Saturday at the KC Stadium.

“It’s strange that it was the same last year, with us playing them in Super League the week before we met in the Cup,” said Briscoe. “I scored four tries in the League game but they ended up beating us in both games.

“This year they have been a bit inconsistent and we think we’ve got a good chance of getting to the semi-finals. But we know that it’s going to be a tough game and you under-estimate Leeds at your peril. They have got good players and internationals all over the pitch so it will be tough.”

The draw for the semi-finals of the Carnegie Challenge Cup will be made live on BBC 2 immediately after the conclusion of the televised Hull FC v Leeds Rhinos quarter-final fixture.

Carnegie Challenge Cup Quarter Final ties:
Saturday July 23
Warrington Wolves v Wigan Warriors
Halliwell Jones Stadium, (4.30pm) Live on BBC 2

Sunday July 24
Hull FC v Leeds Rhinos
KC Stadium (3.30pm) Live on BBC 2

Sunday July 24
St Helens v Hull Kingston Rovers
Stobart Stadium Halton (3.00pm)

Sunday July 24
Castleford Tigers  v Huddersfield Giants
PROBIZ Coliseum (3.30pm)

Tickets for the 2011 Carnegie Challenge Cup final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday August 27 costs from £21 to £76 and are selling fast. Last year’s final was a sell-out and fans are advised to move quickly to secure their seat at the historic showpiece final. To book tickets call 0844 856 1113 or visit www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk

For more information about the Carnegie Challenge Cup visit www.carnegiechallengecup.co.uk

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