Leeds Rhinos: Mac’s note of caution ahead of Cup derby

Brian McDermott
Brian McDermott
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Leeds Rhinos will have their “work cut out” if they are to reach the fifth round of the Tetley’s Challenge Cup, coach Brian McDermott says.

LEEDS RHINOS will have their “work cut out” if they are to reach the fifth round of the Tetley’s Challenge Cup, coach Brian McDermott says.

Rhinos will travel to neighbours Wakefield Trinity Wildcats in one of five all-First Utility Super League ties, on the weekend beginning Friday, April 4.

Leeds are preparing for their 15th meeting with Super League opposition in 16 Challenge Cup games, including finals.

“That stat gives me a wry smile,” McDermott said. “But if you are going to go all the way in the Cup you have to beat some good teams.

“Wakefield have already had some cracking results in the league and we have had some good battles with them over the last two or three years.

“Richard Agar [Wildcats’ coach] has some good history of making sure teams get up for games when they are the so-called underdogs and he will be aiming to do that again.

“If we’re going to get through to the next round we have got our work cut out, we know that.”

Agar suffered Challenge Cup defeat by Leeds in 2010 and 2011 when he was in charge of Hull and 2012 as Wakefield boss.

He said: “It’s a really, really tough draw, but I think every Super League club will think with the right performance on the right day and a bit of luck with the draw they can go all the way

and we are no different.

“It is a massive challenge, but our games with them over the last few years have been really interesting, they’ve been nip and tuck with a lot of quality football played.

“We should be guaranteed a good crowd and the big thing is we are at home.”

Safety issues have led to a reduction in capacity at Rapid Solicitors Stadium, but Wildcats’ consultant chief executive Kath Hetherington said work is in progress to address that.

She said capacity will be up to around 6,000 for Sunday’s visit of St Helens and could be at 8,000 in time for the Cup tie, likely to be played on Sunday, April 6.

Meanwhile, Dewsbury Rams are celebrating a plumb draw at home to Cup holders Wigan Warriors.

Coach Glenn Morrison said: “It’s probably the best draw we could have had.

“It should bring all the fans out and bring some money into the club. It will be great for the boys to play a champion side and they are buzzing about it already.”

Featherstone Rovers are at home to North Wales Crusaders in an all-Kingstone Press Championship tie and Hunslet Hawks, of Championship One, play host to higher-division Workington Town, while Castleford Tigers visit Batley Bulldogs.

Tetley’s Challenge Cup fourth round draw (ties to be played April 4/5/6): Huddersfield Giants v St Helens, Dewsbury Rams v Wigan Warriors, Wakefield Trinity Wildcats v Leeds Rhinos, Rochdale Hornets v Leigh Centurions, Batley Bulldogs v Castleford Tigers, Doncaster v Hemel Stags, Keighley Cougars v Barrow Raiders, Featherstone Rovers v North Wales Crusaders, Hull KR v Warrington Wolves, Hull v Salford Red Devils, Bradford Bulls v Oldham, Hunslet Hawks v Workington Town, Catalan Dragons v London Broncos, Halifax v Widnes Vikings, Sheffield Eagles v London Skolars, Swinton Lions v York City Knights.

Joel Moon.

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