McGuire: Rhinos want three in a row

PA Sport
Leeds will relish being underdogs, according to Danny McGuire
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Leeds will relish being underdogs, according to Danny McGuire

Leeds half-back Danny McGuire says the Rhinos are desperate to complete a hat-trick of semi-final triumphs to give them a chance of ending a 13-year wait for Challenge Cup success.

The Rhinos, who last lifted the famous trophy at Wembley in 1999, have been runners-up in each of the last two years, but McGuire warns they are in the mood to go one better as they prepare to take on holders Wigan in Saturday's first semi-final at Huddersfield.

"The semi-finals have sort of been our finals really," McGuire said. "We've had three or four really good performances in the semis and not been able to carry it on to the final. Hopefully it will be different this year and we can put a few things right, but we're not looking past Wigan at the minute."

Leeds were the last team to beat Wigan in the Cup, courtesy of a last-minute quarter-final victory in 2010, but they were crushed 50-8 in their most recent meeting in Super League at Headingley just six weeks ago.

The Rhinos have since put together a four-match winning run and McGuire says that mauling by the Warriors gave them the "kick up the backside" they needed to keep alive their prospects of a return to Old Trafford.

"We needed to find our form really," he said. "We were struggling at one point, we were sitting eighth or ninth. We lost to Saints, Warrington and Wigan back to back pretty heavily and we just didn't compete.

"It was a real kick up the backside. Those performances were well below par and we decided need to start finding out feet. Although we've played so-called lesser teams since, they have been decent performances and it's given us some confidence for this week."

Wigan remain firm favourites to book a return to Wembley, but McGuire insists the reigning Super League champions will relish the underdog tag.

"Everybody is going to be fancying Wigan's chances," he said. "They are without question the best team in the comp at the minute.

"But we've got an element of nothing to lose. As long as we all play to our potential and give it everything we'll be in there with a shout."

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