Brad Schneider could be forgiven for thinking that he’d already done his bit in getting Hull KR to Wembley, but now says it’s time to ‘give back to everyone that took a risk’ on him in Saturday’s Challenge Cup final.
The German international couldn’t have wished for a better introduction to the Robins’ faithful. He slotted over a drop goal at Headingley in Super League action on debut as KR got the better of Leeds Rhinos on golden point.
And just a week later, another drop goal at the same venue, also in golden point, fired Willie Peters’ side to a first Challenge Cup final in eight years.
Wigan Warriors were the opponents seen off in the semi-final courtesy of Schneider’s boot, and KR now take on Leigh Leopards under the arch this weekend looking to seal some major silverware.
22-year-old Schneider says attempting to get them over the line against Leigh is ‘the least’ he can do.
Brad Schneider: Drop goal hero desperate to help KR to glory
The scrum-half only joined the Robins last month from NRL outfit Canberra Raiders, but is eager to make Saturday’s showdown in the capital count.
Speaking to the Robins’ principal sponsor Connexin, he said: “They [the club] have given me the chance to come here and play some quality rugby against some quality teams.
“It’s up to me to give back to everyone that sort of took the risk of bringing me here, flying me over from across the other side of the world to come and play.
“It’s time for me to give back and the least I could do is try winning the Challenge Cup final. The opportunity doesn’t come around too often to too many people, so it’s a privilege to be able to be a part of it, and hopefully we can get the job done on the weekend.”
Schneider on understanding significance of Challenge Cup
Much has been made of the fact that Saturday’s final comes between two teams who haven’t commonly been found tussling it out for major honours in recent times.
When the showdown at Wembley comes around, it’ll be six years to the day that the two sides met in a ‘Super 8s’ fixture, with KR winning and eventually going on to earn promotion back to Super League at Leigh’s expense.
The Leopards last lifted the Challenge Cup in 1971, with the Robins having not done so in 1980. Schneider admits the magnitude of the competition took him some time to grasp, but now he understands it, it just makes him hungrier to succeed on the big stage.
He added: “When I first came over, I didn’t really know too much about the cup, but in the time I’ve been here, I understand how much it means to people, especially to the staff around the club and to the players.
“From day one, I got to go to the derby [against Hull FC] and just saw the supporters, how much it means to them and how much they get involved. It’s such a great atmosphere and I love being here.
“The supporters have been awesome and so positive towards me. It helps a lot to have them, and hopefully we have as many as we can get down to the game at the weekend. It will be such a help and it’s always awesome when you’re seeing the red and white out there.
“Just seeing how much it means to people and how much it means to everyone at the club has its own feeling. It’s a great final and an unreal experience to be a part of.”