x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Briers inspires Warrington to win - and credits his teammates

Lee Briers led Warrington Wolves past Leeds Rhinos to retain the Carnegie Challenge Cup yesterday, but remains humble.

LONDON // Lee Briers led Warrington Wolves past Leeds Rhinos to retain the Carnegie Challenge Cup yesterday, but deflected the praise to his teammates. Briers was at his inspirational best at stand-off as Warrington ran in six tries to overpower Leeds 30-6 in front of 85,217 fans at Wembley. Briers was pleased to be awarded the Lance Todd Trophy as man-of-the-match, but the 32-year-old did not want his mates to be forgotten.

"It means a lot. It was a bit of a goal I set myself," he said. "I knew if I won the Lance Todd that would mean Warrington would go close to winning the Challenge Cup or win it, that was the only reason I was so pleased. "It is something I will probably look back on when I am finished and it will go down in history. But the main thing is that I have just won the Challenge Cup with a bunch of really special guys."

Warrington led 14-0 at half time after Ryan Atkins scored twice and Chris Hicks got the first of his three scores. "It was terrific," said Tony Smith, the Wolves coach. "We felt we had a little bit to go at half time. To be 14-0 up is a nice position to be in but we felt we had to kick on because a team like Leeds can turn it on a bit. "The boys dug in and there was a lot of attitude from them out there. Leeds showed why they are a champion team but these boys were not going to be denied."

Defeat was a blow for Leeds after publicly making the Challenge Cup their top priority in recent weeks. The Rhinos have dominated Super League by winning four of the last six Grand Finals but they have not tasted cup success for 11 years and have now lost their last four cup finals. * Press Association