Buderus backs Leeds to bounce back - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Buderus backs Leeds to bounce back

By Ryan Bangs 01/09/2011 03:17:13 PM Comments (0)

Danny Buderus insists Leeds do not feel sorry for themselves after losing the English Challenge Cup final to Wigan - and believes the Rhinos will prove it when they return to Super League action.

The 33-year-old former NSW and Newcastle hooker started Saturday's final at Wembley but couldn't stop the Warriors running out 28-18 winners.

It was the second successive Cup final defeat for Buderus and Leeds after they lost 30-6 to Warrington last year before reaching the Super League play-offs, only to stumble in the semi-final to none other than Wigan.

The Rhinos begin their bid to reach this year's knock-out stages almost immediately with Wakefield visiting Headingley on Friday and a win against the rock-bottom Wildcats will cement their place.

Leeds sit sixth just three points ahead of Hull KR, who occupy ninth, one spot outside the play-offs, and will be expected to beat Wakefield - a result former Australian international Buderus is adamant they will deliver.

"The Challenge Cup final was probably my last chance to play at Wembley," said Buderus - who has made no bones about his desire to return to the Knights at the end of the season.

"But anyone who gets a run out there always knows it could be their last chance - that's the magic of the place - you never know when you're going to get another chance.

"I am very privileged and lucky to have played at Wembley two years running and, even though we lost, we showed we're still up there with the top teams. The question now is what have we got left?

"We can't let the defeat affect us and we have got to dust ourselves off and get ready for a run at those play-offs - and hopefully, we will get a second crack at Wigan somewhere down the track.

"We are a very strong group and we will keep inside our bubble. We've just got to concentrate on those last two games and then getting in the semi-finals and moving on from there."

Meanwhile, at the top of the Super League, Wigan can add the League Leaders' Shield to the Challenge Cup with victory over Warrington - but Wolves coach Tony Smith is out to ruin the party.

Warrington managed to get the better of the Warriors in Super League action back in March but lost to them in the Challenge Cup quarter-finals - ending their hopes of a third straight Wembley appearance.

Wigan sit just one point ahead of the Wolves but, with one regular-season fixture remaining afterwards, they can secure top spot - however, Smith wants to put that off for a week at least.

"I think Wigan will come and dig deep after last weekend and their experience of the win. They'll be keen to show how tough they are in terms of backing up after the Cup.

"But it is still a game of rugby league and we need to go out there and perform to our best this weekend and that's what we are focusing on," Smith said.

At the opposite end of the play-off picture, Hull KR need to beat Catalan Dragons to keep up their pursuit of rivals Hull and coach Justin Morgan said: "We've won some big matches over the last couple of months and we're starting to re-believe in our abilities."

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