Richard Agar and Leeds will go from taking the Challenge Cup into a service station McDonalds to a gruelling run of six matches in 17 days.
Rhinos coach Agar revealed the unique nature of his side’s post-match celebrations following their thrilling 17-16 win over Salford on Saturday.
With Covid-19 restrictions re-writing what players were allowed to do, the Leeds squad stayed in the Wembley changing rooms until they were asked to leave before boarding the team bus.
Several of them were still in full kit when they stopped for a fast-food refuel on the way back to Yorkshire.
And Agar says that added to an unforgettable weekend for him and his players.
The Rhinos coach laughed: “It was probably a bit surreal for the people at the services to see, because they took the cup in.
“It was very different to how it normally would be, but we still had a wonderful, memorable time together.
"To get the boys together for those three or fours hours – first of all in that iconic stadium and secondly in the sanctity of the team bus – I think they’ll remember those celebrations all their lives.”
Agar will rest several of his Wembley stars on Friday as the Rhinos begin an unforgiving season run-in still hoping to make the top four play-offs. They kick off with three matches in the next seven days, starting against a St Helens team that thrashed them 48-0 back in August.
Agar insists his players are relishing the task ahead – and says they won’t use the schedule as an excuse. He added: “It’s a massive challenge and we’ve spoken about what’s in front of us.
“We desperately want to make the top four but things have fallen in a very difficult way for us. We’re coming off the the back of a very emotional, tiring weekend and now we’ve got six games in 17 days.
“The Challenge Cup has given us significantly more challenges than the other teams chasing a spot.
"But if we could pull it off it’d be an enormous achievement for us, and we’ll have a right good go at it. We’re not whinging and moaning about it – this is simply the way it is.
“Saints are the best team in the comp and their best game is too good for everyone else at this moment in time.
"But we’ve seen occasions this year where they have got clunky and teams have had a real crack at them.”
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