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Page last updated at 06:29 GMT, Saturday, 27 September 2008 07:29 UK

Sinfield issues warning to Saints

Kevin Sinfield
Sinfield was delighted with his side's resilience against Wigan

Leeds captain Kevin Sinfield has promised St Helens a real fight when the two sides meet again in the Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford.

The Rhinos were crushed 38-10 by Saints last weekend but kept their title defence alive by beating Wigan 18-14.

"It's our trophy and we don't want to lose it," said Sinfield, who hailed his team's desire against the Warriors.

"We blew some opportunities and we had some tries disallowed, but the guys' effort and desire was fantastic."

Leeds edged a tight and tense first half at Headingley thanks to winger Lee Smith's try six minutes before the break.

But they were continually thwarted by Wigan's scrambling defence, in which ex-Leeds favourite Mark Calderwood was magnificent, as they threw everything at the visitors in a largely one-sided second half.

A week ago we got cracked on the jaw and hit the canvas but a sign of good character in a person is if they get up again have another crack

Brian McClennan

Sinfield's men refused to panic, however, even after Jamie Peacock had a try disallowed after five minutes of examination by video referee Ian Smith and made sure of victory with Keith Senior's try on the hour.

Wigan's late rally brought them tries through Harrison Hansen and Iafeta Paleaaesina but Smith's second score kept the home side's noses in front.

"We had to work hard. It was a really tough game," added Sinfield, who will lead his side out at Old Trafford again on 4 October.

"Wigan are a very good side with some great players. They came here with two big wins and wanting to avenge last year's defeat here."

Leeds coach Brian McClennan expressed his frustration over the disallowed try and his dissatisfaction over referee Steve Ganson's policing of the ruck but was delighted with his side's response to their defeat by St Helens.

"We had to be honest with ourselves," he said.

"A week ago we got cracked on the jaw and hit the canvas but a sign of good character in a person is if they get up again have another crack. We did that."

606: DEBATE

Calderwood and Senior were both sin-binned during the fierce exchanges.

The Rhinos also had Smith and hooker Matt Diskin placed on report for alleged fouls, although McClennan remains confident that both will avoid suspension ahead of the Grand Final.

"I'm very, very proud of the lads," he said. "We've come through a very tough game and faced a lot of adversity at times.

"I was real confident that the guys weren't going to be denied.

"We showed some fortitude and thought 'no matter what happens we're going to get to the Grand Final'."

see also
Leeds 18-14 Wigan
26 Sep 08 |  Rugby League
Leeds v Wigan photos
27 Sep 08 |  Rugby League
St Helens 38-10 Leeds
19 Sep 08 |  Rugby League


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