Danny McGuire says Leeds Rhinos are Grand Final underdogs

5 October 2017, 10:08

Leeds captain Danny McGuire says his side have a big psychological barrier to overcome if they are to secure a record-extending eighth Super League title by beating Castleford on Saturday

The Rhinos will go into Saturday's Grand Final at a sell-out Old Trafford as clear underdogs against Castleford, having lost their last eight matches against their neighbours, including four this season.

Leeds have a clear advantage when it comes to big-match experience but McGuire accepts the Tigers have the edge on them.

"You're probably right," he said. "When you feel you have a formula to beat a team, then it does give you confidence going into a game and I'm sure that's how Cas feel at the minute.

"But anything can happen on the day. You've got to perform and cope with the occasion, the pressure, everything that comes with a Grand Final. You've got to be able to handle all those situations, it's totally different from just a normal league game."

Leeds are appearing in a record-equalling 10th Grand Final, with McGuire and his long-time half-back partner Rob Burrow both hoping to make it eight wins in what will be their farewell appearances for their home-town club.

"It would be special," McGuire said. "I've been fortunate enough to play eight times and only lost once and to add another win to that would be really special being captain now.

"I'm going to try and keep everything in check before the game and make sure I don't let the emotion get to me, but I might have a little cry after the game.

"Hopefully they're tears of celebration rather than disappointment. I'll be giving everything out there on Saturday to try to get the result for the team."

Leeds managed to send Kevin Sinfield, Jamie Peacock and Kylie Leuluai out on a high two years ago with victory over Wigan and McGuire admits that prospect provided the team with an extra incentive.

As he prepares to make the move to Hull KR and Burrow gets ready to hang up his boots, McGuire is hoping history can repeat itself.

"The lads themselves didn't speak too much about it," recalled McGuire. "Internally it was mentioned but you are that focused on preparation.

"I personally wanted to send them out on a high. I was going to give everything because I wanted them to finish in the best way possible, it was what they deserved.

"So if we can eke a little bit more out of the lads to hopefully send me and Rob out, that would be great. It's going to need that against Cas I think. They've been the best team all year and they're quite rightly favourites.

"But we've given ourselves an opportunity. We've worked hard this year and we've put ourselves in a good position. We've just got to turn up and perform on the night.

"A lot of people will be tipping Cas to win but I think within our camp we feel we've earned the right to have a crack at them. We'll go out there and give it our best shot."

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