Preparing for points

Sky Bet's Jordan Fiddes expects a close game at Wembley and picked out his bets for the showpiece event

By @SkyJordanFiddes.   Last Updated: 21/08/14 11:03am

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Sky Bet

Kevin Sinfield was quick to defend coach Brian McDermott's decision to name his Tetley's Challenge Cup Final squad early on Monday morning.

The skipper - who has played every Challenge Cup fixture since the 2005 final for the Rhinos - said the build-up to their clash against Castleford Tigers would be different knowing the squad so early.

"I remember in 2005 we didn't find out the squad until an hour and a half before kick off because of a late fitness test to Keith Senior so this is great," said Sinfield.

"It means we can all get excited together as a group."

Sinfield is the only member of the current Rhinos squad to have won the Lance Todd Trophy and he is the 13/2 favourite to make it a double this weekend.

One thing likely is that if Leeds are to win - for the first time since 1999 - then the club captain will be at the forefront of their success:

"I'm excited to be getting another chance. I'm not getting any younger so I don't know if I will get many other shots at it," he continued.

Daryl Clark: Happy with his side's form in 2014

Tigers tamed

The Rhinos are the favourites at 2/5 and have a -8 handicap - a figure they defeated Castleford by earlier this season.

However, the Tigers have improved as the year has progressed and gained a well-earned point at Headingley last month.

There hasn't been a draw in a Challenge Cup Final since 1982 but the odds on a replay this year are shorter than in recent times at 20/1.

While Castleford's odds of 100/1 to win the Challenge Cup at the start of the season have trimmed so have those for Daryl Clark to be named Man of Steel.

He started 2014 at 50/1 to gain the individual award, but he is now 7/2 second favourite, highlighting his importance to the Tigers side.

"If you had told at the start of the season that I would be playing in a Tetley's Challenge Cup final and fourth or fifth in the league, I'd have laughed at you," said the Tigers hooker and many would concur.

He's 9/4 to score anytime at Wembley and, considering he has scored 12 times already this term, these odds are appealing.

Close start

A Leeds penalty as first scoring play this weekend is also enticing at 8/1 - Sinfield opted for this in the semi-final against Warrington and, in finals, it's something the Rhinos like to do.

Nevertheless, the try scorer markets will be popular and Tom Briscoe - the hero of the semi-final for Leeds - is 10/1 second favourite to open the scoring in the capital.

"It is pretty amazing to be a part of this team and getting that try at a crucial moment in the semi-final felt very special - I hope I can have the same impact on Saturday," said the winger.

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Tetleys Challenge Cup 2014 final

Leeds Rhinos' Kevin Sinfield  lifts the Tetley's Challenge Cup

Sinfield: This makes up for it

Leeds captain Kevin Sinfield spoke of his relief after finally getting his hands on the Challenge Cup.

Leeds Rhinos' Danny McGuire scores his sides second try of the game during the Tetley's Challenge Cup Final at Wembley

Challenge Cup Final 2014

All the best photos from Leeds Rhinos v Castleford Tigers in the Challenge Cup Final at Wembley.

Leeds skipper Kevin Sinfield  lifts the Tetley's Challenge Cup

Rhinos charge past Tigers

Leeds ended a run of six straight Challenge Cup final defeats with a 23-10 victory over Castleford at Wembley.

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