Graeme Horne: Leeds Rhinos won’t take us lightly

Leeds Rhinos may be the strong favourites to lift the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup this weekend but Hull KR star Graeme Horne says their Yorkshire rivals won’t underestimate the Rovers.

In an exclusive interview with Ladbrokes News the second rower said the his side’s performances against the top teams this season means the odds will go out the window come game time at Wembley.

“We know we can compete. We’ve either beaten or played very well against all the big teams this year so we won’t be scared going into this game as we know we’ve got the firepower to trouble Leeds,” he said.

Rovers go into the showpiece match on the back of four successive wins and Horne believes the fact that his side have been competing in the Middle 8s of late, as opposed to gunning for a Grand Final play-off spot is irrelevant.

“A win is a win, it’s all positive and the result against Widnes, where we rested a few, was one no one expected us to get,” the 30-year-old added.

“In the semi-final we played really well too so the recent wins have given us a good platform and if we can make it five out of five it’d be very good wouldn’t it?”

Asked whether or not the underdog tag relieved any of the pressure on his side going into the final, the former Huddersfield and Hull FC man explained that the profile of this game means that is the last thing on his mind, saying: “The game itself is pressure enough – we’ll be nervous and excited. Leeds won’t take us lightly though and will come out all guns blazing. We might be seen as underdogs but we’ll go into this very confident.”

With the final representing a chance for KR to lift the trophy for the first time since 1980 Horne is aware that a chance to go down in the club’s history is there to be taken.

“If you can look back when you retire and reflect on a trophy win like this it would be amazing and to be looked upon in 30 years time in the same light as the team from 1980 would be unreal,” he explained.

“These weeks don’t come very often so we’re taking it all in and I’m sure we’ll soak up the atmosphere at Wembley ahead of the game. Every rugby league player looks forward to the Challenge Cup final and  I’ve been lucky enough to play in two so far so hopefully the third one will mean a win.”

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.