Rob Burrow hopes for winning send-off for Leeds Rhinos trio

Published: Tuesday 6th October 2015 by The News Editor

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Rob Burrow hopes Leeds can give irreplaceable trio Kevin Sinfield, Jamie Peacock and Kylie Leuluai a fairytale ending at Old Trafford on Saturday night.

The Rhinos have already claimed the Challenge Cup and League Leaders’ Shield and will complete the treble for the first time in the club’s history with victory over Wigan in the Super League Grand Final.

Sinfield, Peacock and Leuluai, who have 19 winners’ rings between them, will bring the curtain down on their decorated careers this weekend and Burrow admitted that gives the Rhinos an extra incentive to beat the Warriors.

“You can’t replace Kev, JP and Kylie,” the Leeds playmaker told Press Association Sport.

“Talented young lads are going to come through but there’s never going to be another one of them.

“For them to play their last game of rugby league in such a big event like this is fitting, but it’d be great as well for them to finish their fantastic careers on a high.

“I do believe in fairytale endings. I read a lot of Disney fairytales at the moment, so why not?”

Leeds won five Grand Finals between 2007 and 2012 but have failed to reach the last two Old Trafford showpieces, something which was tough to take for the trophy-hungry Rhinos.

“I’ve missed the place,” Burrow said.

“It’s a great end to a season. Thankfully we’ve been on the positive end of most but this year will be as tough as ever.

“It’s hard watching Grand Finals from home, especially when you’ve been involved in the few before that.

“At clubs like Leeds and Wigan, you want to be involved in the finals so when you’re not involved it’s disappointing.

“Obviously it’s a fantastic event to be involved in. I’m fortunate to have sampled a few in my career but I’m as excited now as I was for the first one.”

It looked as if Leeds were on course to sit out another Grand Final after suffering a Wembley hangover, only for the Rhinos to launch a thrilling late fightback at Huddersfield to clinch top spot before edging out reigning champions St Helens in last week’s play-off semi-final.

Similarities were inevitably made with last year, when Leeds failed to win a game after winning the Challenge Cup final as they fell at the first hurdle in the play-offs, but Burrow insisted there was never any danger of the Rhinos letting their season fizzle out again.

“There’s a lot left in the tank,” he added.

“Last year when we beat Castleford in the Challenge Cup final the team was quite battered and bruised because we emptied a lot into that.

“This year, although we lost three after the Challenge Cup final, we still felt fresh and like we had a lot to give.

“People were looking and saying it was a replica of last year but it wasn’t. We know we’ve got plenty left and the lads feel really, really good.

“We’ve been battle hardened because we’ve not missed a round, which should benefit us; rather than being a negative playing every round, we’re using it as a positive.”

The Grand Final brings together the top two sides after 30 rounds of Super League, and Burrow does not expect rugby league fans to be disappointed.

“If you look at the Leeds-Wigan games this year, they’ve been close, tough and ferocious,” he said.

“All finals are great but if you were looking for the best final this season, it’d be Leeds and Wigan.”

Published: Tuesday 6th October 2015 by The News Editor

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