Ben Cockayne: Hull KR confident ahead of Challenge Cup Final

Since a 52-12 hammering at the hands of St Helens, Challenge Cup finalists Hull KR have gone on a four game win streak ahead of their Wembley showdown with Leeds.

Critics will point to the strength of their opposition in recent weeks – with Halifax and Leigh Centurions among their recent scalps – but fullback Ben Cockayne says the Robins are riding a wave of confidence ahead of the showpiece finale.

In an exclusive interview with Ladbrokes News, the 32-year-old said: “Four from four is four from four so we’ve got some confidence going into this game.

“There were a few performances that were a bit scratchy but the Warrington game was a massive win for us and the Widnes result was huge.”

While bullish, Cockayne is aware that he and his team-mates will take to the Wembley pitch as underdogs in the eyes of the betting public and many neutrals.

However, the Rovers man claims the tag will have little effect on the players ahead of what could be an historic day for the club.

“We don’t look at it, it’s just something that people on the outside talk about and we just deal with internal things and focus on things we can affect the outcome of,” he added.

“We probably went into the match with the Vikings as underdogs too so to come out with that result was great and we’re looking to take that form into a meeting with the champions.”

Part of the reason that Hull find themselves priced as the 7/2 outsiders to win this weekend is the fact they have lost twice to Leeds already this season.

KR were not embarrassed on either occasion though and Cockayne believes there are plenty of positives to take from those defeats.

“We’ve been competitive every time we’ve played Leeds and now it’s down to the coaching staff to put a plan together to find their weaknesses and then down to us to execute those pans.”

Pull it off and Cockayne and co. will go down in Rugby League history alongside the likes of Roger Millward and Brian Lockwood who helped the club win its only Challenge Cup back in 1980.

Having spoken to members of that famous squad in the build up to the final the magnitude of the event and what it will mean to the players and the fans has not even lost on Cockayne.

“The people of East Hull are already raving about it and were queuing for tickets straight after the semi-final. It’ll be a great day out no matter what but if we can win I’m sure there will be plenty of people taking the week off to celebrate,” he explained.

“The 1980 winners have spoken to us about what it means to the club and what it means to create your own bit of history. It gives you a tingle down the spine and gets you thinking that anything can happen in the final … fingers crossed we can put in a good performance and bring a piece of silverware back to East Hull”

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.