LEEDS Rhinos secured a gripping 17-16 Challenge Cup final win over Salford Red Devils on Saturday.

It proved a popular victory, given the plight of their former scrum-half, and the final's guest of honour "in absentia", Rob Burrow, who is suffering from Motor Neurone Disease.

Even the most dyed-in-the-wool Bradford Bulls supporters would have found it hard to begrudge the success of their West Yorkshire rivals at Wembley.

And they can even claim to have played a small part in the victory, with no less than five former Bradford players in action for Leeds on Saturday.

The most memorable one is of course their captain Luke Gale, who kicked a decisive drop goal to win it for Leeds with just four minutes left.

The scrum-half made a great start to life at Bulls, joining in 2012 and scoring 143 points in his debut season.

Injuries blighted his second year with the club though, and although he played well personally in 2014, the club were relegated from Super League at the end of the season.

He then went on to spend five years with top-flight side Castleford Tigers, helping them to the League Leaders Shield in 2017, before joining Leeds ahead of this season.

Second-rower Alex Mellor was born in Halifax, and was involved in the Bulls' scholarship system from the age of 15.

He made his first-team debut for Bradford in 2013 while still a teenager, and went on to make over 50 appearances for the club. He left when Bulls were liquidated in 2017.

Mellor went on to spend three years at Huddersfield Giants, before, like Gale, he joined Leeds ahead of this season.

Loose forward James Donaldson, who was on the bench in Saturday's final, was a much-sought after junior and joined Bulls as a teenager more than a decade ago.

He made his senior debut in 2009, playing there until the end of 2014, when he left to join Hull Kingston Rovers.

His stunning performances there in 2017, where he bagged nine tries in 11 appearances, were sadly curtailed by an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury, but his efforts did help the side bounce straight back up to Super League after relegation.

Donaldson left to join Leeds ahead of the 2019 season.

Utility player Liam Sutcliffe and prop Mikolaj Oledzki, who both started in the final against Salford, had brief spells on loan with Bulls, in 2014 and 2017 respectively.