Leeds 17-16 Salford: Rhinos beat Red Devils to clinch Challenge Cup at Wembley

Drew Darbyshire

A drop goal from Luke Gale saw Leeds clinch the Challenge Cup at Wembley as they beat Salford 17-16 in the final. 

Salford coach Ian Watson recalled full-back Niall Evalds from a six-week absence with a knee injury. He replaced Dan Sarginson, who was ruled out after contracting coronavirus.

Leeds boss Richard Agar made two changes to his semi-final side, bringing in Alex Sutcliffe and Adam Cuthbertson in place of Cameron Smith and Tom Holroyd.

The Rhinos opened the scoring in the 11th minute through winger Tom Briscoe before Rhys Williams scored from a fine breakaway move to draw Salford level.

Leeds winger Ash Handley continued his rich try scoring form as he went over on the half hour mark, with Rhyse Martin converting to give Agar’s side a 12-6 lead at the break.

Pauli Pauli crashed over the line for Salford in the 53rd minute before James Greenwood scored to edge the Red Devils into a 16-12 lead after an hour.

Handley grabbed his second to tie the score at 16-16 and set up a nervy finish.

And with four minutes remaining, Leeds half-back Gale added a drop goal to seal a 17-16 victory for Agar’s Rhinos.

Leeds: Myler; T Briscoe, Hurrell, L Sutcliffe, Handley; Lui, Gale; Seumanufagai, Leeming, Oledzki, Mellor, Martin, Prior. Subs: Dwyer, A Sutcliffe, Donaldson, Cuthbertson.

Tries: T Briscoe, Handley (2) Goals: Martin 2/3 Drop Goals: Gale 1

Salford: Evalds; Williams, Watkins, Welham, Inu; Lolohea, Brown; Mossop, Lussick, Dudson, McCarthy, Greenwood, Flanagan. Subs: Ikahihifo, Pauli, Yates, Burke.

Tries: Williams, Pauli, Greenwood Goals: Inu 2/3

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