Leeds captain Kevin Sinfield insists he and his team-mates are more determined than ever to win the Carnegie Challenge Cup Final as the Rhinos prepare for Saturday’s televised quarter-final clash against Wigan Warriors at Headingley.
The Rhinos haven’t lifted the Carnegie Challenge Cup since their 52-16 victory over London Broncos in 1999 and despite their hunger to reach the Wembley final, the 29-year old is keen not to get carried away.
Sinfield said: “We’re pretty relaxed about this competition, a lot of people have heard some of the comments coming out of the club and this isn’t a crusade.
“We’re all really committed, hungry and working as hard as we can. At the start of the year for whatever reason we didn’t play as well as we could and we we’re a big scalp and we suffered from it and teams deserved to beat us.
“But we want to win the Challenge Cup as much as anybody but we’re focused on Saturday and we’re looking forward to the game.
Standing between the Rhinos and a place in the semi-finals are a Warriors side who have lost just twice all season and Sinfield concedes that the Rhinos must be at their best if they are to continue their assault on the competition.
“I think it will be really tough. I don’t think we could have got a more difficult tie except if we had been away at the DW but being at home with our own fans behind us is great,” said the loose-forward.
“They’re number one in the league and they have been by far the stand out side this year, so it’s a tough one, but one we’re looking forward to.”
The Rhinos fought back from three first half injuries to Luke Burgess, Jamie Jones-Buchanan and Ian Kirke to beat Bradford Bulls 26-12 last weekend and the England international believes that the Rhinos will have to produce another dogged display to get past a strong Wigan side.
Sinfield said: “It’s always good to get a win over your arch rivals and certainly in the derby game, it’s good for the fans that we got the two points and we can take a lot from it.
“We defended a lot better and having to get through the game with 14 men for a large part of it is testament to the character.
“Wigan have dangers all over the park. In the halves with Tomkins and Leuluai, O’Loughlin at the back has been playing great and Roberts if he’s back fit. Richards is scoring points for fun but they’re dangerous all over.
“I think every team that have come up against Wigan this year has not only face two or three key players and I think from one to 17 they have been turning up every week making the coach pretty proud, so it’s a tough one.”