ANY side in dire need of a cup final appearance seemingly needs only to sign former England international Shaun Lunt on loan.
The Hull KR hooker has reached yet another showpiece after his late try helped secure the Robins their shock 26-18 Challenge Cup semi-final victory over stunned Warrington Wolves.
He joined on a season-long loan from Huddersfield Giants in March and is having the same sort of positive impact for them as he did when moving to Leeds Rhinos in similar style in 2012.
That year, Lunt memorably won a Super League Grand Final and also appeared in the Challenge Cup final, losing to Warrington just as he did with Huddersfield at Wembley in 2009.
“Two loans spells, three finals,” said Lunt, after Saturday’s famous victory at Headingley.
“I just think I have been very fortunate. I am privileged and honoured to have played with such good teams and players.
“There’s some great players who have never played at Wembley and this will be my third time, if all goes well.
“I’d absolutely love a winner’s medal now; my oldest boy Noah got my (Grand Final) ring and I’d love a Cup winner’s medal for my youngest fella, Jude.”
Lunt, 28, is out of contract at Huddersfield at the end of this season and attracting plenty of interest, not least from Rovers, who understandably want to make his stay permanent.
Winning the Challenge Cup for only the second time in their history would certainly add to the appeal for the Cumbrian who believes their unfancied status – holders Leeds are huge 2-7 favourites to retain the trophy – is immaterial.
Rovers missed out on the play-offs finishing 10th in Super League but Lunt argued: “We’ve played some really good rugby (in the Cup), against quality sides.
“We’ve beaten Catalans and Wigan, who are a brilliant team, and Warrington, who’ve been in a lot of semis the last few years.
“We believe in ourselves. Leeds are a quality side, there’s no doubt about that.
“How they played on Friday night (defeating St Helens) was fantastic, but it’s how you play in the final that counts now.”
Lunt ensured Rovers’ Wembley spot with a typically hard-earned 76th-minute try, his fifth in 13 games since switching.
“We were two points ahead and the try just eased nerves, especially when big Mantree (Josh Mantellato) put the conversion over to push the lead out to eight,” he recalled.
“It was fantastic; I love scoring, especially in big games, but our defence was absolutely outstanding. That’s what won it for us.”