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Last Updated: Sunday, 28 August 2005, 12:45 GMT 13:45 UK
Senior apologises to team-mates
Keith Senior
Senior was withdrawn at half-time
Leeds centre Keith Senior has admitted he should not have played in the Challenge Cup final defeat by Hull.

The Great Britain international was selected despite injuring his ankle eight days before - and ended up being withdrawn at half-time.

"I've let myself down and I've let the team down," said the 29-year-old.

"The ankle's been well all week and in the warm-up everything seemed fine. In hindsight, it might not have been the best thing to do."

Senior, who injured the ankle when he fell awkwardly against Bradford in the Super League, had to have pain-killing injections in order to play in the final.

He was clearly off the pace in the first half and did not come out for the second.

Hull coach John Kear, a close friend of Senior, was shocked that the centre played, but Leeds coach Tony Smith insisted it was a gamble worth taking.

"When you have that decision to make, it's not easy to pull out," Senior added. "That's the biggest thing that is going though my mind at the moment.

"It just got worse as the game went on. It wasn't one particular incident, it was a gradual process as the game went on.

"The injection wore off and it seized up. The pain just got so bad in the last 10 minutes of the half. They said just fight your way through to half-time and that's what I did."

I feel as if I have let the side down and I don't want to be in that position again
Leeds' Keith Senior

Senior added: "Full credit to Hull, they capitalised on some of things that we couldn't do.

"I think the better side won. They achieved the dream they've been after."

Senior urged his team-mates to quickly overcome their disappointment and focus on the end of the Super League season, with Leeds in second place behind St Helens.

"This is going to hurt for a long time and it will always be in the memory," he said.

"But we still have something to work on and it's straight back to work on Tuesday.

"The focus is on Wigan on Friday so it doesn't get any easier. It's going to be very hard to pick ourselves up but it's something that we need to do.

"Friday can't come quick enough for the boys to put some things right. I'll have to miss that game, though.

"Like I say, I feel as if I have let the side down and I don't want to be in that position again."

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