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Rugby League Challenge Cup: Leeds captain Kevin Sinfield reaction

Leeds skipper Sinfield stoical after suffering fifth Challenge Cup final defeat

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UPDATED:

14:24 GMT, 26 August 2012

Leeds captain Kevin Sinfield put on a brave face after picking up a fifth losers' medal from the Carnegie Challenge Cup final.

The 32-year-old England international stand-off has led the Rhinos to five Grand Final victories in eight years but is still waiting to get his hands on the Challenge Cup after yesterday's 35-18 defeat by Warrington.

It was Leeds' sixth defeat since their last triumph in 1999 and their third in a row at Wembley after losing to the Wolves in 2010 and Wigan a year ago, but Sinfield remained stoical in defeat.

Leeds captain Kevin Sinfield suffered the disappointment of a fifth Challenge Cup final defeat against Warrington Wolves on Saturday

Leeds captain Kevin Sinfield suffered the disappointment of a fifth Challenge Cup final defeat against Warrington Wolves on Saturday

'We're still alive,' he said. 'I think there are far worse things that can happen, certainly in and around the world at the minute.

'Ultimately it's a game and it does hurt a great deal. Obviously we're disappointed but I thought the best team won.'

The Rhinos had genuine hopes of ending their 13-year wait when Sinfield kicked the first of two penalties to edge his side 8-6 in front after 23 minutes, after earlier converting Ian Kirke's first try of the season.

They trailed only 12-10 at half-time and were desperately unfortunate to have a try from Brett Delaney disallowed by video referee Phil Bentham two minutes into the second half.

Warrington full-back Brett Hodgson had no complaints over the tackle from Kylie Leuluai that forced him to spill the ball but Bentham ruled out the score due to a knock-on.

It was the pivotal moment of the match, with the Wolves going on to dominate the last 30 minutes, but Sinfield was not looking for excuses.

Sinfield, 32, had hoped to end the Leeds Rhinos' 13-year wait for the Challenge Cup

Sinfield, 32, had hoped to end the Leeds Rhinos' 13-year wait for the Challenge Cup

'I'd like to see it again,' he said. 'Warrington seemed to get the ascendancy from it.

'But I'm not one to moan about refereeing decisions. I thought Warrington played that last 30 minutes really well.

'We struggled to get out of our own 40 and that shows how well they played. Sometimes you've just got to cop it on the chin.'

Leeds second rower Jamie Jones-Buchanan, who went off with a knee injury towards the end of the first half, collected a fourth losers' medal and admits time is running out for the team's older generation to get their hands on the elusive trophy.

Jamie Peacock is the only Leeds player to have won the Cup – he achieved the feat with Bradford – but Jones-Buchanan believes the crop of youngsters emerging through the ranks could enjoy more successful times in rugby league's famous knockout competition.

The Rhinos had 18-year-old Stevie Ward in their starting line-up and little-known Jimmy Keinhorst making only his fourth senior appearance alongside established youngsters Kallum Watkins, who scored two late consolation tries, Zak Hardaker and Ben Jones-Bishop.

Warrington took the trophy for the eighth time after a 35-18 win at Wembley

Warrington took the trophy for the eighth time after a 35-18 win at Wembley

'They've got another 10 or 15 years left in them and experiences like that are only going to make them stronger players as time goes by,' Jones-Buchanan, 31, said.

'That's what it's about. Myself and Kev and Rob (Burrow) and Danny Maggs are not going to play forever and at some point that ball is going to have to be passed down to the younger lads.

'Maybe they will win three or four Challenge Cups in the future.'

More immediately, Jones-Buchanan is hoping history will repeat itself before the end of the season.

The Rhinos bounced back from last year's Wembley heartache to win the Grand Final from fifth place and, currently sitting in fifth spot, he sees no reason why they cannot re-produce those heroics.

Jamie Jones-Buchanan (left), Jamie Peacock (centre) and Darrell Griffin stand dejected after the final whistle

Jamie Jones-Buchanan (left), Jamie Peacock (centre) and Darrell Griffin stand dejected after the final whistle

'For sure, I don't see why not,' Jones-Buchanan said. 'You've just got to pick yourself up and carry on.

'Last year it was a bit of a catalyst for kicking on for the rest of the season. There's a bit of rugby to be played yet. The season is not written off.'

Leeds have only five days to pick themselves up for the visit of Salford but Sinfield was not yet ready to think about that in the immediate aftermath of his latest disappointment.

'I don't want to think about Friday, if I'm honest,' he said. 'We'll go back to work on Monday, roll our sleeves up and get ready to go.

'But, at this moment in time, being honest, rugby is the last thing I want to think about.'

Warrington 35 Leeds 15: Wolves win Challenge Cup at Wembley

Warrington 35 Leeds 18: Agony for Rhinos as Wolves toast famous Wembley triumph

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UPDATED:

15:55 GMT, 25 August 2012

The heartache goes on for Leeds after they made Wembley history with a third consecutive Carnegie Challenge Cup final defeat as Warrington lifted the trophy for the third time in four years.

The Rhinos threatened to end their 13-year wait to get their hands on the famous silverware when they led 8-6 after 23 minutes, but a scoring burst of three tries in 10 minutes early in the second half provided decisive.

Leeds are masters of the Super League, with five Grand Final wins in eight years, but the Challenge Cup continues to elude them as they succumbed to a sixth final defeat since their 1999 win over London Broncos.

Cheer we go: Warrington players celebrate their third try scored by Chris Riley during the Carnegie Challenge Cup Final at Wembley

Cheer we go: Warrington players celebrate their third try scored by Chris Riley during the Carnegie Challenge Cup Final at Wembley

The game, which drew a 79,180 crowd,
had been fiercely contested and was finely balanced until Warrington,
having benefited from a crucial decision by video referee Phil Bentham
to disallow a Leeds try early in the second half, cut loose with veteran
full-back Brett Hodgson leading the way in a man-of-the-match
performance.

Hodgson supplied the final passes to
the key tries and scored the last of his side's six touchdowns as well
as kicking five goals to claim the prestigious Lance Todd Trophy, three
years after he was on the losing side in Huddersfield's Wembley defeat
by the Wolves.

The Rhinos fans must have feared a
repeat of their 30-6 mauling from 2010 when Warrington winger Joel
Monaghan opened the scoring just six minutes into the action.

Touching down: Warrington's Riley goes over for his try

Touching down: Warrington's Riley goes over for his try

Touch the sky: Try hero Riley celebrates with a personal dedication at Wembley

Touch the sky: Try hero Riley celebrates with a personal dedication at Wembley

Smart offloads from Ben Harrison and
Chris Hill created an opening for scrum-half Richie Myler, who had the
vision to spot Monaghan in space out on the right flank and found him
with a pinpoint kick.

Hodgson's angled conversion made it
6-0 and they might have doubled their score had the full-back provided a
more accurate final pass to second rower Ben Westwood after piercing
the first line of defence.

But Leeds had already shown signs
that this was not going to be a walkover, with former England captain
Jamie Peacock setting a tremendous early example with two storming runs
through the heart of the Wolves defence.

Back-to-back penalties got the Rhinos
into the danger zone and substitute forward Ian Kirke took skipper
Kevin Sinfield's pass to barge past three defenders and stretch out of
the tackle to score his first try for 14 months.

Clash of the titans: Leeds' Ryan Bailey squares up to Warrington's Garreth Carvell

Clash of the titans: Leeds' Ryan Bailey squares up to Warrington's Garreth Carvell

Sinfield levelled the scores with the
conversion, just before a torrential downpour, and edged his side in
front four minutes later with a penalty awarded for a punch by Paul Wood
on Carl Ablett.

The rain threatened to ruin the game,
with Warrington's Hill and Trent Waterhouse both spilling possession,
but a run of penalties against the Yorkshiremen helped produce another
momentum shift.

As the rain disappeared as quickly as
it had arrived, slick handling by Michael Monaghan and Myler got
Waterhouse into his stride and he proved unstoppable from 10 metres out.

Hodgson's second goal made it 12-8
but Sinfield pulled two points back with a second penalty on the stroke
of half-time and Leeds thought they had re-taken the lead early in the
second half.

Making a fist of it: Leeds' Ian Kirke scores their first try but it was not enough for the defeated Rhinos

Making a fist of it: Leeds' Ian Kirke scores their first try but it was not enough for the defeated Rhinos

When Hodgson lost possession in a
crunching tackle from Rhinos prop Kylie Leuluai while attempting to
clear his line, second rower Brett Delaney picked up the loose ball and
touched down.

The video referee ruled out any foul
play but disallowed the try for a knock-on and Warrington made the most
of the let-off with two quickfire tries, with Hodgson quickly recovering
from the heavy blow to supply both final passes.

Leeds found themselves under
intolerable pressure after conceding successive goal-line drop-outs and
it told when Hodgson combined with Ryan Atkins to get winger Chris Riley
over on 49 minutes.

Done and dusted: Warrington's Ryan Atkins scores their third try to put them on their way to a famous victory

Done and dusted: Warrington's Ryan Atkins scores their third try to put them on their way to a famous victory

Five minutes later, following another
drop-out, Warrington again attacked the Leeds right and Hodgson's long
pass enabled Atkins to go over.

The Wolves were oozing with
confidence by then and four minutes later substitute Tyrone McCarthy
went over for his side's fifth try after Westwood squeezed out a pass
from a tackle close to the line.

Briers put his side four scores in
front with a drop goal and Hodgson went through a tiring Leeds defence
for a deserved try, rendering later tries from Rhinos centre Kallum
Watkins little more than consolation.

Catalan Dragons v Hull postponed

Cold snap claims Super League meeting between Dragons and Hull in Perpignan

Saturday's Stobart Super League match between Catalan Dragons and Hull in Perpignan has been postponed due to a frozen pitch.

Referee Phil Bentham and match commissioner Gerry Kershaw took the decision, in conjunction with the coaches and chief executives from both clubs, following an inspection of the playing surface at Stade Gilbert Brutus.

'Referee Phil Bentham and match commissioner Gerry Kershaw, with both coaches Trent Robinson and Peter Gentle and both CEOs Christophe Jouffret and Tony Sutton, inspected the pitch and deemed the surface unplayable,' said Catalan spokesman Yannick Rey.

Off: Catalan Dragons will not be able to host Hull at the Stade Gilbert Brutus

Off: Catalan Dragons will not be able to host Hull at the Stade Gilbert Brutus