Powell: Hull KR must rattle Leeds

Castleford coach Daryl Powell believes Hull KR will have to be at the peak of their game and rattle Leeds to have a chance of taking out the Challenge Cup final this weekend.

Powell’s Tigers reached Wembley last year but were beaten by the Rhinos 23-10 in the final. Powell played for Leeds from 1998 to 2001 and then coached the club until 2002.

He won the 1999 Challenge Cup against London as a stand-off for the Rhinos but lost in the final the following year to Bradford.
Hull KR have enjoyed a fairytale run to the final this year, which in ways been similar to Castleford’s journey in 2014.

“They haven’t been as consistent as us in the league but they’ve been excellent in the Cup, they’ve beaten Wigan and then they beat Warrington,” Powell said. “They’ve had some big wins. It’s going to be interesting.”

Powell believes the fitness of halfback Albert Kelly is crucial to Hull KR’s chances on Saturday.

“Obviously they’re talking about Albert Kelly not being fit for the final, that would make it really difficult to Kelly and Campese missing,” the 50-year old said.

“They’re both the architects of the best things they’ve done this year. I’m not sure whether they can do it.

“They’ve shown that they’re a really good team but Leeds are playing pretty special at the minute. It’s going to be a tough challenge for them, but you never say do you.”

The Rhinos and the Robins have met twice this season in Super League, with Leeds claiming a 36-16 victory in May and a 40-30 win in round one.

“If Hull KR play right on top of the game and they can rattle Leeds a little bit, then you never know,” Powell said.

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