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Last year Leeds Rhinos fans had a Challenge Cup run (ignoring the final) to be really proud of. Beating two top teams in Wigan Warriors and St Helens on the way to the final was the highlight of last season, for sure. So far this year the only thing we have to be proud of is something superficial and that’s our team getting to the Challenge Cup final again. Only this time The Rhinos beat the likes of Hull FC and Castleford Tigers to claim their place at Wembley this Saturday.
Fans of other teams would be ecstatic that their team had made it to the Challenge Cup final, but not Leeds fans. Over the Pennines, Wigan Warriors fans are putting our own to shame when it comes to the build-up week to Wembley. Pop on the Cherry and White part of RLFANS.COM and you’d be amazed by their enthusiasm for this upcoming encounter. Here on Southstander.com the mood is pretty glum by comparison. But can you really blame us?
Leeds is a city whose natives love its sport and are dedicated to family. The two go together really well in the good times but when the bad times have hit then it hits the people of this city emotionally. For most of us if there’s no joy on the field then they can be little joy off it too. Leeds Rhinos or Leeds United doing well makes all our lives that so much better regardless of what rubbish things the majority of us have to do during the week in order to get by in life.
People are envious of this city and it shows even in sport which is supposed to unite us all. During the three years Leeds Rhinos were Superleague champions not one man of steel went our players way. It’s only recently Gary Schoefield has been recognised as the proper golden boot winner. Hopefully the same will happen for Kevin Sinfield when in 2009 he was in the form of his life only to lose out to an Australian who was awarded the golden boot for merely been Australian. Time and time again Leeds are shunned by their peers for merely been Leeds. What’s your problem?
Worse of all we can be our worse enemies at times. Gary Hetherington, along with Ken Bates, are meant to be carrying the hopes and dreams of this city. Instead many people feel that they running things to their own vested interests for worse rather than better. Historically they are two people who have done so much for our clubs but you’ve got to wonder whenever they’ve bought their respective teams as far as they can. I trust Gary Hetherington to change things around, and I hope it starts with Wembley.
All the best Rhinos and I hope you do us proud like you’ve done us so many times before.