BEN Westwood fears a case of history repeating itself – only this time with Warrington the victim.
The veteran knows all about having a Challenge Cup run defying a hopeless Super League season having won the trophy in 2009 despite finishing 10th.
MAGIPIX Ben Westwood can see similarities between Leeds now and Warrington in 2009
Now the Rhinos head into tomorrow’s last four tie having missed out on the Super 8s, meaning a relegation scrap through the Qualifiers.
But back-rower Westwood knows only too well it is possible to overcome league shortcomings in the Cup, particularly when Leeds are concerned.
The 37-year-old said: “They’re a champion side.
“I know they’ve lost a bit of form but when it comes to these big games – and this is one – they always seem able to pull something out of the bag.
“Where Leeds are is exactly how we were in 2009 but we’ve not been there for a few years and this is a big chance for us.”
MAGIPIX Remi Casty admits he had to watch the Challenge Cup Final in 2007 again on video
Meanwhile, Remi Casty hopes to make more memories by inspiring Catalans back to Wembley – ones he will not need to watch on video to remind himself.
The last time the French side reached the Challenge Cup Final was 2007, the first one held at the new national stadium.
To a raw 22-year-old, stepping out in front of 87,000 people was too much. His head went to mush and it was all a blur.
Now as he faces St Helens, the team that best the Dragons back then, the now 33-year-old is determined to soak a return up more.
Casty admitted: “I had to watch the video of the game the day after to remember what happened. Getting back would be huge for us and big for French rugby league. The fans are waiting for us to get back to Wembley.
Justin Holbrook remembers Catalans boss Steve McNamara from their time together at Sydney Roosters
“At Saints, there are two players who played against us at the final – James Roby and Jon Wilkin – but everything has changed. Our club is still growing up but I want to go to Wembley again, only as a senior player embrace everything about it.”
St Helens may be runaway Super League leaders but boss Justin Holbrook, urged to stay by chief executive Mike Rush, has to get one over a former colleague to keep up their treble chance.
The Australian and Catalans boss Steve McNamara worked together at NRL side Sydney Roosters and hopes to give him a fright again – much like the creepy crawlies Down Under.
Holbrook said: “It was more fun walking around the streets and he’d be looking around for snakes and spiders – all these deadly creatures in our country.
“We got the most laughs out of that type of stuff, more so than the rugby league.”