Hall in a haze after final heroics
1:25pm Sunday 24th August 2014 in © Press Association 2014
England winger Ryan Hall says he will need to watch a video of Saturday's Challenge Cup final to fully appreciate his match-winning performance.
The 26-year-old showed just why he is dubbed the world's best winger by his team-mates in scoring two blockbusting tries that proved all the difference as the Rhinos lifted the Cup for the first time this century with a 23-10 win over Castleford.
It was like swatting flies as the 15-stone Hall sent Kirk Dixon and Liam Finn flying with ferocious hand-offs to touch down in each half at Wembley.
It was enough to win him the prestigious Lance Todd Trophy as man of the match, ahead of scrum-half Danny McGuire, who scored a superb solo try and defied three cracked ribs to land a victory-sealing drop goal four minutes from the end, but it was just a blur to the player.
"I love scoring at Wembley," said Hall, England's record tryscorer who touched down twice in their Four Nations match against Australia at the national stadium in 2011.
"It's one of the best things you can do. I t's magical, not that I can remember much about them. I'm going to have to watch the video to realise what happened."
"I'm just thankful he's on our team," said Leeds' 5ft 5in, 11-stone hooker Rob Burrow. "I don't want him running at me.
"He's a prop with the pace of a back. He's phenomenal. He's the world's best winger, there are not many wings who can finish tries like he did."
Hall's fellow winger, Tom Briscoe, scored the other try and skipper Kevin Sinfield kicked three goals in front of a 77,914 crowd as the Rhinos ended a run of six consecutive Cup final defeats to get their hands on the trophy for the first time since 1999.
It was Leeds' 12th Cup success, a record bettered only by Wigan, and helped erase the painful memory of their three successive losses at Wembley from 2010-12.
"Emotionally it's one of the best ever feelings," Hall said. "It is all the more s weet because of our record here, I won't lie to you.
"We did think about the past leading up to the game and used it as a positive. It's a new chapter, the book of Leeds Rhinos 2014. I'm so glad that we've done it."
Leeds took the famous trophy to Buckingham Palace on Sunday as they continued their celebrations and they are guaranteed a heroes' reception when they return to Headingley on Monday, but then it will be quickly back down to business.
Brian McDermott's men are back in Super League action against leaders St Helens at Headingley on Friday, when a victory would take them to within two points of their visitors with two rounds left of the regular season.
Victorious in six Grand Finals in the last decade, the Rhinos are now setting their sights on emulating the feat of Wigan, who completed the rare double in 2013.
"It's hard to put into words what this means, it's been a long time coming," Burrow said. "We'll enjoy this one but bear in mind that we've got another competition to hopefully be part of as well."