Greatest Challenge Cup Finals at Wembley in Rugby League History

The Greatest Challenge Cup Finals at Wembley

The Challenge Cup final is a highly anticipated annual event on the rugby league calendar. Since its inception in 1896, the competition has become one of the most coveted prizes in British sport, with a rich history closely tied to Wembley Stadium.

The first Wembley final was held in 1928, as Wigan defeated Dewsbury. Since then, the iconic venue has hosted the final on 80 occasions, including 16 times after the stadium’s redevelopment.

Looking back at the modern era, here are five of the greatest Challenge Cup finals at Wembley:

5. 2015 – Leeds Rhinos 50-0 Hull KR

In this one-sided affair, Leeds Rhinos secured their second consecutive Challenge Cup title with a dominant performance. Tom Briscoe’s five-try haul cemented his place in Wembley folklore, capping off an outstanding attacking display by the Rhinos as they cruised to victory.

4. 2018 – Catalans Dragons 20-14 Warrington Wolves

While not the most glamorous final, this match marked a significant milestone for the Catalans Dragons. In just their 12th year in the English leagues, the French club secured their first-ever Challenge Cup triumph, making history as the first non-British side to lift the prestigious trophy.

3. 2023 – Leigh Leopards 17-16 Hull KR (AGP)

The most recent final was a gripping encounter. Newly-promoted Leigh Leopards defied the odds to clinch their first Challenge Cup since 1971, with Lachlan Lam’s late drop-goal sealing the victory in golden point extra time.

2. 1996 – St Helens 40-32 Bradford Bulls

This final was widely regarded as one of the best cup deciders of all time. An end-to-end thriller, the match featured two spectacular tries from Steve Prescott and Robbie Hunter-Paul. St Helens ultimately prevailed in dramatic fashion, overcoming a significant deficit to lift the title.

1. 1998 – Sheffield Eagles 17-8 Wigan Warriors

Arguably the biggest upset in Challenge Cup history, the 1998 final saw the newly-formed Sheffield Eagles defy the odds to defeat the dominant Wigan Warriors, who were chasing their ninth title in 11 years. Inspired by the likes of Keith Senior and Mark Aston, Sheffield’s historic victory remains one of the most memorable Challenge Cup finals.

“The Challenge Cup final is one of the most coveted prizes in British sport, with a rich history closely tied to Wembley Stadium.”

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