Sinfield relishes underdog tag

PA Sport
Kevin Sinfield is backing Leeds to upset Wigan

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Kevin Sinfield is backing Leeds to upset Wigan

Leeds captain Kevin Sinfield says his team are in the mood to exact revenge for last year's Wembley defeat when they meet Wigan in the first Carnegie Challenge Cup semi-final at Huddersfield.

The reigning Super League champions were outside the top eight just a month ago but four consecutive victories, albeit against teams below them in the table, have lifted them to fifth and provided a timely boost to their hopes of reaching Wembley for the third successive year.

"We needed to start playing well and get some results," Sinfield said. "It's always nice to go into a big game like this with some form behind you. I must say the lads are buoyant at the minute. They're bouncing around the training ground and looking forward to this one. It's a different feel to where we were at five or six weeks ago so we're ready for this."

Wigan demonstrated their excellence with a 50-8 rout of the Rhinos at Headingley just six weeks ago and Sinfield, who will be appearing in his ninth Challenge Cup semi-final, admits victory on Saturday would represent a remarkable transformation.

"For us to turn that around, we need to be 60 or 70% better than we were that night, if not a bit more," he said.

Leeds lost 28-18 at Wembley last August but they are the last team to beat Wigan in the Cup, courtesy of a last-gasp quarter-final triumph in 2010.

And, although Warriors have done the double over the Rhinos in Super League this year, coach Shaun Wane is treating the tie with caution.

"It's a whole new ball game," he said. "We've not been speaking about the last two games.

"They're playing well and they've got players in their team who can turn up for big games. They've done it before and they'll do it again. I just hope it's not against us.

"We need to be at our very best. It's semi-final football, one chance and you're gone."

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