Match Stat Pack

SATURDAY sees two of Rugby League’s most successful clubs in the history of the sport go head-to-head at Headingley Carnegie Stadium (2.30pm) when Leeds Rhinos do battle against St Helens in the Tetley’s Challenge Cup fifth round.

Since the turn of the millennium, Rugby League’s oldest and most prestigious competition has been dominated by the Rhinos and Saints, with 12 out of the 14 finals since 2000 being attended by one of the two.

Last year’s final between Wigan Warriors and Hull FC was just the second time since 2000 that neither Leeds nor Saints played at the showcase event, though both teams are looking to put that right by overcoming the other and take one step closer to Wembley by reaching this year’s quarter-finals.

In years gone by there have been many enthralling battles between these two household Rugby League names, in all competitions.

2007 saw an epic tussle between the Rhinos and the Saints in a battle to become the best team in the land. St Helens had already lifted the Challenge Cup – the second of three consecutive tournament wins between 2006 and 2008 – and were on the lookout for a second double in as any years.

The then-defending Super League champions squeezed past the Rhinos in a thriller during the 2007 play-offs, as Saints’ two-point victory saw them reach the Grand Final leaving Leeds the task of beating Wigan Warriors if they wanted to reach Old Trafford and thwart Saints’ efforts to win an unprecedented consecutive domestic double.

The Rhinos duly defeated the Warriors 36-6 and proceeded to gain their revenge in the Grand Final, beating St Helens 33-6 – in the process holding Saints to a scoreless second half – to become 2007 Super League champions, beginning a run of six Super League Grand Final triumphs in seven years.

The Rhinos have not enjoyed quite the same success in chasing Challenge Cup glory since the turn of the millennium, however. 1999 was the club’s last triumph, despite reaching the final six times since then.

St Helens have lifted the trophy 12 times in their history – seven of those coming since 1996 – and will be looking to continue the Rhinos’ 14-year search for another Wembley win when the pair meet in West Yorkshire on Saturday.

Despite each club’s success throughout the beginning of the 21st century, the pair have not met in a Challenge Cup final since 1978, when 96,000 fans crammed into Wembley Stadium to witness Leeds edge past the Saints 14-12.

Previous Challenge Cup Meetings:
2010 (Semi-Final) Leeds 32 St Helens 28 (at Galpharm Stadium, Huddersfield)
2009 (Round 4) Leeds 18 St Helens 22
2008 (Semi-Final) Leeds 16 St Helens 26 (at Galpharm Stadium, Huddersfield)
2004 (Round 5) St Helens 24 Leeds 14
2003 (Semi-Final) Leeds 33 St Helens 26 (after extra-time) (at McAlpine Stadium, Huddersfield)
2002 (Semi-Final) Leeds 16 St Helens 42 (at JJB Stadium, Wigan)
2001 (Semi-Final) Leeds 22 St Helens 27 (at JJB Stadium, Wigan)
2000 (Round 5) Leeds 26 St Helens 20
1999 (Round 5) Leeds 24 St Helens 16
1994 (Semi-Final) Leeds 20 St Helens 8 (at Central Park, Wigan)
1992 (Round 2) Leeds 12 St Helens 32
1983 (Round 2) Leeds 13 St Helens 23
1978 (FINAL) Leeds 14 St Helens 12 (at Wembley Stadium)
1977 (Semi-Final) Leeds 7 St Helens 2 (at Central Park, Wigan)
1972 (FINAL) Leeds 13 St Helens 16 (at Wembley Stadium)
1971 (Round 2) Leeds 4 St Helens 0
1930 (Round 2) Leeds 5 St Helens 18
1911 (Round 2) St Helens 6 Leeds 11

2014 Meeting:
St Helens 14, Leeds 10 (SLR7, 28/3/14)

Club Milestones:
Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook needs one appearance to reach 100 for St Helens.

‘LMS’ made his Saints debut in a 16-16 draw with Wigan at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium on 12 February, 2011.

Two appearances will also see him reach a total of 200 for his career – having played 97 games for previous club Harlequins (2006-2010) and twice for England (2008-2009).

Challenge Cup Milestones:
Paul Wellens – 10 points away from 150 (140 for St Helens, 2001-2002, 2004-2007 & 2009-2013)

Try-Scoring Runs:
Tommy Makinson (1-2-1-2-2-1-2-1) has scored tries in the Saints’ last eight games.

First Utility Super League Leading Scorers:

1. Tom Makinson (St Helens) 12
2. Ryan Hall (Leeds Rhinos) 10
3. Justin Carney (Castleford Tigers) & Elliott Whitehead (Catalan Dragons) 9
5. Michael Shenton (Castleford Tigers) & Omari Caro (Hull Kingston Rovers) 8

1 Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants) 39
2 Kevin Sinfield (Leeds Rhinos) 36
3 Marc Sneyd (Castleford Tigers) 35
4 Luke Walsh (St Helens) 32
5. Jarrod Sammut (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats) & Danny Tickle (Widnes Vikings) 30

1. Kevin Sinfield (Leeds Rhinos) 88
2. Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants) 86
3. Jarrod Sammut (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats) 80
4. Marc Sneyd (Castleford Tigers) 76
5. Luke Walsh (St Helens) 72

Cup Draw:
The draw for the quarter-finals of the 2014 Tetley’s Challenge Cup will take place live on the BBC News channel on Monday April 28 at 6.30pm.

Rugby League fans across the UK will be able to watch the draw live on the BBC News Channel (Freeview channel 80) or via the BBC iPlayer

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