TOM BRISCOE scored a record-breaking FIVE tries to secure rampant holders Leeds Rhinos an emphatic Challenge Cup final win over embarrassed Hull KR today.
The Super League leaders proved why they were such clear 1-5 favourites by producing a supremely clinical display against opponents who badly struggled in their first such showpiece since 1986 and endured a record defeat.
Briscoe’s quintet, including a searing 90m effort, saw the former Hull FC star take the Lance Todd Trophy and beat another Leeds winger’s record, Leroy Rivett who famously scored four against London Broncos in 1999.
The winning margin in that 52-16 success was 36 points, another record broken by ruthless Leeds who ensured captain Kevin Sinfield and Jamie Peacock, the Rhinos legends who leave at the end of the season, got the Wembley farewell they deserved.
Brett Delaney opened the scoring after just six minutes while Danny McGuire - in his 400th career appearance - Brad Singleton and Rob Burrow were the West Yorkshire side’s other try-scorers on a remarkable day for them as the sport celebrated its 120th birthday.
Leeds have now completed the first part of a hoped for ‘treble’ but Hull KR - beaten in every aspect here - must now rally and revive themselves to ensure they safely emerge from the Qualifiers and don’t get dragged into a relegation dogfight.
As expected, Albert Kelly was fit for Rovers to resume at scrum-half after being injured since the semi-final and, while he showed some classy moments, the Australian was helpless as Leeds ran riot after leading just 16-0 at the break.
Chester opted for Kieran Dixon over Ben Cockayne at full-back, a decision he must now regret given Dixon made a series of expensive mistakes.
Both sides started steadily and neither made a handling error until the 15th minute when Zak Hardaker spilled a pass for Leeds.
However, Tyrone McCarthy then coughed up Shaun Lunt’s offload cheaply to waste a good position and it cost Hull KR as their opponents marched downfield to score their second try via McGuire.
Peacock’s deft pass sent Joel Moon into space, the Australian centre finding McGuire in the support for the scrum-half to mark his landmark game in style.
Sinfield improved and his side scored again immediately as Ryan Hall claimed the restart and shrugged off the onrushing Kelly to break clear, Carl Ablett eventually dragged down, but the ball moved sharply to the right where Tom Briscoe cut in off his wing and exposed some woeful Rovers defence.
Sinfield struck a post with his conversion attempt but, trailing 16-0 after 19 minutes, you feared for Chester’s side.
To their credit, they steadied and had a couple of attacking opportunities but couldn’t capitalise so were thankful when Hall ignored McGuire and got over the line only to be ruled out for being held up.
Hull KR needed a big start to the second period but Kieran Dixon made two sloppy errors - allowing a McGuire kick to bounce off him into touch and then losing the ball in his own 20 - to heap pressure on his side.
Rovers survived but when Dixon failed to even jump or challenge for Kelly’s attacking kick, Briscoe collected it and raced 90m for his second try of the afternoon, Sinfield making it 22-0.
He slotted his fourth goal after Brad Singleton barged over from close range in the 57th minute and, after Dixon ignored an overlap and was denied by Hardaker, Briscoe claimed his third.
Burrow finished off when Kallum Watkins showed great footwork to cut KR open again before the England centre fed Briscoe for his fourth.
After another Dixon handling error, the England winger then, remarkably, claimed his fifth in the dying moments as more woeful defence was exposed, Sinfield finishing with seven goals.
Hull KR: Dixon; Mantellato, Welham, Salter, Sio; Blair, Kelly; Walker, Lunt, Puletua, Larroyer, Horne, McCarthy. Substitutes: Boudebza, Donaldson, Tilse, Allgood.
Leeds Rhinos: Hardaker; Briscoe, Watkins, Moon, Hall; Sinfield, McGuire; Garbutt, Cuthbertson, Peacock, Ward, Ablett, Delaney. Substitutes: Burrow, Leuluai, Achurch, Singleton.
Referee: Ben Thaler (Wakefield)