Leeds Rhinos have the best squad in Super League – according to the coach of this weekend’s Cup opponents Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.
LEEDS RHINOS have the best squad in Super League – according to the coach of this weekend’s Cup opponents Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.
Richard Agar accepts his team will be massive underdogs in Sunday’s home Tetley’s Challenge Cup fourth-round tie, but he is backing them to pull off a huge upset.
“Leeds have got to more finals over the last five years than any other team in Super League,” Agar said.
“There’s a reason for that. You look at their squad and for me – and this is my opinion only – they have got the best squad in the competition.
“You look at the speed they’ve got and the threat they’ve got. Physically and condition-wise they are in outstanding shape and they have got some terrific leaders and game-changers, who have got that experience.
“We know the size of the challenge, but at the same time we think it is a fixture they might not be looking forward to as well.
“We have had some terrific battles with them over the last couple of years.”
Sunday will be the third time in four seasons the team Agar coaches have been drawn against Leeds in the Challenge Cup.
He was in charge of Hull when they lost to Leeds in 2010 and 2011 and Wildcats were knocked out at Headingley Carnegie in 2012.
“I don’t see any significance in that,” Agar said. “It is different teams and this Wakefield team is different to the last one that played them in a Cup competition.
“But I think whoever Leeds played in this round, bar the exception of arguably one or two teams, Leeds would start as favourites.
“It is going to be no different, so we have got to challenge them in every play and every single facet of the game.
“We have to try to make life difficult from them and put them in places where they feel uncomfortable.”
Leeds suffered their first defeat of the season last Friday, away to St Helens, but Agar said he does not expect that to have an impact on them this weekend.
“It is a new game in a new competition,” he stated.
“Like any team they will have a look at their performance last week, but it was a close game against a very, very good side.
“They will have a look at the reasons why it didn’t work for them last week and I am sure they will want a response.
”But I was talking to Jamie Jones-Buchanan at the draw and he said the Challenge Cup is a bit of a Holy Grail for him.
“That highlights the importance they will put on this game - and we are the same. We want to write a few wrongs from our defeat last week, plus it’s the Challenge Cup, a local derby and the rewards in this competition are enormous.”