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Page last updated at 12:34 GMT, Saturday, 27 August 2011 13:34 UK

Challenge Cup final - as it happened

Rugby League Challenge Cup

Live video - Challenge Cup final - Leeds v Wigan


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By Mike Henson

1700: Plenty of mistakes, from both officials and players, but great drama till the death. Ged Scott was soaking it in, his report is up on the site so you can get your head around all that happened. Thanks for your company. See you later.

Leeds coach Brian McDermott: "We gave ourselves too much of a hill to climb, but I'm proud of the lads to get within touching difference. Those refereeing decisions are irrelevant now, I would be wasting my breath. There has been some disrespect shown to some of the lads in there, some of the lads who have been around and done some things, by the media and I'm proud that they have given Wigan a real scare."

Wigan's Paul Deacon: "I'm lost for words, this one will last with me a long time. I came here nine times as a fan and we won every one and to do it as a player, I couldn't be happier. I have accomplished one of my dreams. If I do nothing else as a player I will be happy."

Louise Rigby on Twitter: "Final spoiled by disgraceful refereeing decisions, Wigan had an extra man on their team, awful decisions, game spoiled by officials."

1643: Contrary to those pre-match expectations, it has been painfully fine margins that have decided this one in Wigan's favour. Two refereeing calls and Ben Jones-Bishop's decision to kick rather than pass, all three in the last 10 minutes, will leave Leeds wondering.

Wigan coach Michael Maguire: "To be here is unbelievable. All the players put their hands up. Leeds threw a lot at us but we withstood the pressure. They are a special bunch, one that will go down in Wigan history. We'll enjoy this tonight and then get ready for the Warrington game and get back to it."

1637: The Wigan players take their turn to hoist the Challenge Cup above their heads. Jeff Lima briefly jokingly pretends he is going to deprive the men behind him in the queue of their photo opportunity with the silverware. Not many of them would argue with a man of his size after a performance like his.

1634: The heavens have opened at Wembley and it is a long hard climb up the Wembley steps for Leeds skipper Kevin Sinfield. It is a fourth Cup final defeat for him.

Wigan try-scorer Joel Tomkins: "Living in Wigan and being brought up in Wigan you know how big it is for the fans and so to come back here after 13 years and win is just fantastic."


Full time
80 min: Jeff Lima is announced as the Lance Todd winner over the tannoy and the whistle blows with both sets of players fronting up to each other in a final show of aggression. Only one team will be lifting the trophy though.

Try graphic
78 min: Another massive decision, this time from the video official Steve Ganson. Thomas Leuluai, barely rising a few feet off the surface, skirts round and over the line from dummy-half. Whether he has control of the ball as he dives over is the question. The replays show it is very tight, but Ganson gives the nod. Richards sticks over the kick to secure the match.



76 min: Another big shout from the officials as they give head and feed to Wigan judging that Rob Burrow got the final touch on a ball heading over the touchline. Replays suggest Josh Charnley's boot may have been the guilty party.

75 min: What a finish! Both sides threatening a decisive score.

73 min: Leeds see a great chance to take the lead for the first time go begging. Ben Jones-Bishop whisks past Pat Richards, but opts to kick ahead with Brent Webb inside him. Sam Tomkins gets back to do just enough to keep the ball away from McGuire and Wigan are off the hook. How crucial will that be?

Try graphic
71 min: Danny McGuire's cut-pass is flat and fast and it has to be to buy Ryan Hall the space to dive into the corner despite the attentions of Josh Charnley. Kevin Sinfield misses his third kick of the match.


70 min: A high tackle on Rob Burrow from Liam Farrell in midfield earns Leeds a set of six in the final quarter of the pitch. They need to come away with something with the clock ticking down into the final ten.

66 min: Pat Richards slings Ben Jones-Bishops out of play like a nightclub bouncer dealing with a reluctant reveller to bring a Leeds attack to an end.

Try graphic
63 min: Wigan find something to stem the tide. But there will be controversy if this try proves decisive. Jeff Lima does well to shrug off both Bailey and Ablett and slide over, but Lee Mossop's pass to the unlikely try-scorer looked like it strayed forward. Nothing doing from the referee though. Richards makes no mistake from straight in front.



Try graphic
59 min: Brett Delaney, who has been all over the pitch for Leeds today forces a turnover, and his Leeds team-mates make immediate use of it spinning wide and Carl Ablett is afforded too much space and heaves himself and the ball over the line. The decision is referred upstairs, but it is an easy one for the video referee. Sinfield misses the kick that would have taken Rhinos level. It was a tight angle, but no more tricky than the one he landed to win the semi-final against Castleford.


57 min: The game is poised very precariously now. A try from Leeds could complete the turnaround and you would fancy them to push on to victory from there.

56 min: The game is poised very precariously now. A try from Leeds could complete the turnaround and you would fancy them to push on to victory from there.

54 min: That chance has gone for Leeds though as they pay for a spot of indiscipline. Kylie Leuluai shoves Jeff Lima as the Wigan man lies on the floor after taking exception to Lima's flapping around the face of Danny McGuire in the tackle.

53 min: Warriors' Pat Richards coughs up the ball to hand Leeds a set of six within the shadow of the posts.

52 min: Harrison Hansen and Sam Tomkins combine to make a half-break for Wigan, the Leeds defence shuttles back quickly enough though and Carl Ablett dislodges the ball from Joel Tomkins grasp with a big tackle on the next play.

50 min: Rob Burrow probes around the fringes for Leeds before Kallum Watkins thunders in on the next play. Leeds look like they still might have some of that momentum that they ended the first half with.

47 min: Brent Webb swallows a steepling kick and runs back hard into the on-rushing Wigan defenders. The New Zealander will feel better after an error in a similar position handed Wigan their first try of the match.

44 min: Kevin Sinfield overcooks his grubber on the fifth tackle to hand possession back to Wigan a bit too easily. Could have done with giving his Leeds team-mates more of a chance of earning another set of six there.

42 min: A mix-up within 10 metres of the Wigan line as Sam Tomkins gathers a long kick and, under no pressure, fluffs his pass to winger Josh Charnley. Big cheers from the Leeds contingent.

41 min: Back under way in north London.

BBC Sport
Jonathan Davies on BBC One: "For some reason Wigan seem to allow teams back in the game, their defence has been soft. Wigan blasted them but Leeds are now coming back into the game."

1534: A bit of chatter on the text that Sam Tomkins might have gestured at the Leeds fans after the first Wigan try. Let's see if anything comes of that, though I'm sure most of the Rhinos fans have recoverd from the shock over a half-time cup of tea.

Tom Randerson on Twitter: "Rhinos to dominate second half, Burrow and Sinfield gonna work their magic."


40 min: The half comes to an end with a flurry of shoves and angry stares as Wigan object to Ryan Bailey's challenge on Sam Tomkins on the floor. Referee Bentham keeps his cards in his pocket though, perhaps deciding just to get the teams back in their hutches after a frantic first half.

Try graphic
37 min: The comeback is gathering pace. Ben Jones-Bishop barrels over from Ryan Bailey's pass and Sinfield finds his range to shut the gap to within six points.



Try graphic
35 min: And they have something.. An exceptional flicked off-load from Kevin Sinfield confounds Wigan's rush defence and opens up the left flank for McGuire and Ablett to feed Ryan Hall into the corner. Sinfield hits the uprights with the goal attempt, but it comes down the wrong side for him.


32 min: Leeds reeling here and there are slaps of congratulations all round as the Wigan defence teams up to shove Ben Jones-Bishop into touch. The Rhinos need something urgently here...

Try graphic
28 min: A length-of-the-field effort from the Tomkins brother. Straight off the first play of the ball, Sam Tomkins skips across the face of the Leeds defence, brushing off attempts to tackle before putting his brother Joel Tomkins into space. Danny McGuire hasn't got the legs to stay with him and the elder Tomkins jags inside to take Jamie Peacock out of the game and dot down under the sticks. Richards does the business from straight in front.



Try graphic
22 min: Paul Prescott off loads to Jeff Lima who barges over from short range before Pat Richards slots another two to bring up double figures for Warriors.



22 min: Brent Webb spills a spiralling up-and-under from Sam Topkins to give Wigan a set of six within ten metres.

20 min: Sam Tomkins fails to gather George Carmont's off-load surrendering head and feed to Leeds and prompting mocking cheers from Rhinos fans.

18 min: Leeds' Brent Webb and Ryan Hall do well to get out of their own in-goal area area, but the next play of the ball sees Webb taking the ball at first receiver, sat on his backside by a huge tackle from Thomas Leuluai. An absolutely teeth-shuddering hit which is then followed by another by Thomas Lima on Brett Delaney. Offensive defence from Wigan.

15 min: Absorbing contest so far. Sinfield's attempt to nudge a little kick over the final few yards and follow in is smothered by the Wigan defence.

13 min: Leeds hold out and suddenly apply a bit of pressure of their own with McGuire scragged by his bootlaces as the line appears to beckon.

11 min: Relentless pressure from Wigan with Leeds fighting a valiant rearguard action to prevent them following up Charnley's score with another almost immediately.

Try graphic
8 min: It is Josh Charnley who opens the scoring as he slaloms down a narrow corridor of space down the right wing, cuts inside Danny McGuire and dots down. Pat Richards misses the extras.


5 min: Leeds hold out for the set of six, but it is a close run thing as Brett Finch's final grubber kick dribbles harmlessly long.

3 min: Crowd on their feet as Sam Tomkins wriggles through a couple of tackles before being mobbed by Leeds tacklers. All Wigan at the moment on the Leeds line.

1 min: Wigan have an early chance straight off the kick-off as Ryan Hoffman charges through a hole in midfield, but is hauled down before he can get the ball away to the support either side of him by Brent Webb. Worrying for the Rhinos how easy that was for Wigan.

1435: Here we go. Leeds to kick off on referee's Phil Bentham's say-so.

BBC Sport
BBC Sport's Ged Scott at Wembley: "Rousing rendition of the traditional Wembley anthem. 'Abide With Me'. 'Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies', sounds like a job for Sam Tomkins!

1431: The two teams emerge blinking into the sunlight from the tunnel and take their places either side of the trophy which is being scrapped over for the 109th time today.

1429: A mixed reception for former X-Factor finalist Rhydian Roberts , remember him?, as he prepares to bash out Abide with Me. Could be a tricky gig for the Welshman if he doesn't rein in the usual histrionics.

1426: Coaches Brian McDermott and Michael Maguire both offer ramrod straight bats to Damien Johnson's questions in the tunnel. Both teams happy with their build-up, "focused", "ready", usual drill. Very close to the off now and the rain has eased off.

1422: Hang on a second. From the switch from the Red Button to BBC One, Jonathan Davies appears to have acquired an umbrella. Has there been a turn in the weather? Clare Balding certainly isn't letting a bit of possible mositure in the air bother her. Pro.

1420: Wigan players have been remembering their trips down the M1 as fans in the build-up to their big day out as players. Paul Deacon, a man as Wigan as mint balls, has been down nine times to see Wigan in winning form while Sean O'Loughlin was in the crowd for the 1998 defeat and, as an 18-month-old, supporting his father in Widnes' win over Cherry and Whites in 1984.

BBC Sport
BBC Sport's Ged Scott at Wembley: "Both teams have been out for their pre-match warm-up to the accompaniment of those good old Yorkshire favourites, the Black Dyke Mills Band. Not surprisingly, the roar for the arrival of the Warriors team was double that which greeted the Rhinos!"

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
1411: So where will this one be won and lost? What will Rob Burrow's impact off the bench? Just how good was this try? Drop me a line on 81111 on text from the UK and via the Twitter hashtag #BBCRL from just about anywhere.

It's sunny
1404: For the first time since 1969 none of the players on display at the national stadium have previously won a Wembley final. The weather is perfect for running rugby by the way, sun blazing in the London sky.

Leeds: Webb, Jones-Bishop, Ablett, Watkins, Hall, Sinfield, McGuire, Leuluai, Buderus, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Delaney, Hauraki. Replacements: Burrow, Clarkson, Bailey, Kirke.
Wigan: S. Tomkins, Charnley, J. Tomkins, Carmont, Richards, Deacon, Finch, Lima, Leuluai, Coley, Hansen, Hoffman, O'Loughlin.Replacements: McIlorum, Prescott, Farrell, Mossop.

Brian Noble
Brian Noble on BBC Sport: "There has been a lot of talk about the running, but kicking will be crucial and Kevin Sinfield is key for Leeds today."

1354: Another little tidbit from Ged who has been handed the teamsheets down in north London: "Carl Ablett and Kallum Watkins have both been passed fit to play for Leeds at centre, but Ryan Bailey will start on the bench, Brett Delaney having been picked at second row. As for Wigan, they have left Paul Prescott on the bench, switched Thomas Leuluai to hooker and selected Brett Finch at scrum-half, with Paul Deacon at stand-off." Full details to come.

BBC Sport
BBC Sport's Gerald Scott at Wembley: "Just 45 minutes from kick-off and Wembley's filling up nicely . . . but red is clearly the predominant colour! Not only are Wembley's plastic seats all red in colour, but Wigan appear to have at least double Leeds' support!The Cherry and Whites have reportedly sold up to 30,000 tickets for their first trip to Wembley in 13 years, while the yellow and blue-clad Rhinos, hammered here by Warrington just a year ago, were well short of selling their 15,000 allocation."

BBC Radio 5 live
1347: Sheffield Eagles certainly didn't pay it much attention when they upset Wigan 17-8 in 1998. Leeds themselves shrugged it off to push the Warriors all the way both home and away this season. And most importantly Ray French, the voice of rugby league, said it was of no consequence on 5 live this morning. Convinced?

1341: But what sort of mug looks to things as coldly logical as form and league positions to try to deduce the outcome of occasions like these?

1339: The form from last weekend looks damning for Leeds. The Rhinos faltered to a 32-22 defeat to lowly Harlequins after Wigan crushed Bradford 60-12.

1335: I had a quick squint at the bookmakers odds for this Challenge Cup final. It seems we could cut down a lot of time and travel and just get the engraver inscribing Wigan's name on the trophy already. And when he has done with that, he might as well get cracking dedicating the Lance Todd to Sam Tomkins as well...

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see also
Leeds 18-28 Wigan
27 Sep 11 |  Rugby League
Noble on Leeds v Wigan
26 Aug 11 |  Rugby League
Lance Todd Trophy winners
26 Aug 11 |  Rugby League
Rhino McGuire happy as underdog
26 Aug 11 |  Leeds
Sinfield wants final improvement
25 Aug 11 |  Leeds
McDermott braced to break hearts
26 Aug 11 |  Leeds
Tomkins in dream land at Wembley
25 Aug 11 |  Wigan

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