Tetley's Challenge Cup final: Castleford Tigers v Leeds Rhinos key battles
Last Updated: 20/08/14 9:08am
Ahead of Saturday's mouth-watering Tetley's Challenge Cup final from Wembley we break down where the game could be won.
It is the first-ever time West Yorkshire rivals Leeds and Castleford will meet in rugby league's biggest domestic cup competition. Here are a few areas where destination of the cup could be decided:
DARYL CLARK v ROB BURROW
Two hookers with contrasting styles and at the opposite ends of their careers are sure to have a big say in the destination of the Challenge Cup. The 21-year-old Clark has demonstrated for Castleford this season that he is an England international in the making, with his searing pace and eye for an opening. Burrow, despite being 10 years his senior, is showing no sign of slowing down and still has the ability to turn a game in an instant with one of his mazy scoots from dummy half.
ANDY LYNCH v JAMIE PEACOCK
It could be a war of attrition between these two old stagers who have rolled back the years to produce vintage seasons in 2014. Lynch, 34, was in the Hull team that lost to Wigan at Wembley 12 months ago but has enjoyed a new lease of life on his return to his home-town club, leading the way for Castleford's mobile pack as they invariably lay a solid platform for their half-backs. Peacock continues, at the age of 36, to defy logic by consistently topping most of the statistics, inspiring his Rhinos team-mates with his Herculean efforts and, like Lynch, always plays long minutes.
MARC SNEYD v KEVIN SINFIELD
Two other players fancied to land the prestigious Lance Todd Trophy in their differing ways. Sneyd has been one of the revelations of the season after joining Castleford on loan from Salford. With his varied handling and kicking games, he has the full bag of tricks, along with the most bizarre, yet effective, place kicking style in the game. Sinfield has been the master tactician for the Rhinos for a decade, pulling the strings to enable the club's gifted outside backs to display their scoring potential.
LUKE DORN v ZAK HARDAKER
The full-back position has grown into one of the key positions in a rugby league team. Again this weekend’s match up sees contrasting ages as 32-year-old Dorn takes on England international Zak Hardaker, 22. The pair know exactly where the try line is as Tigers number one Dorn has scored 14 Super League tries this year while Hardaker has eight. With both full-backs excellent defenders, it could their ability to join the attack that may prove the difference at Wembley.
JUSTIN CARNEY v RYAN HALL
Quite simply these are two of the strongest wingers in Super League. Carney might not possess your a-typical physique for a winger, but those who try and stop him will testify he is one of the hardest men to stop. He has been sidelined of late due to suspension, but he remains the Tigers’ top try-scorer with 17 tries. Likewise Hall is Leeds’ leading scorer with 15. Hall is one of the deadliest finishers in the game and always seems to get his name on the scoresheet on the big occasion.