Updated with video - Leeds Rhinos coach Richard Agar salutes his players after Coral Challenge Cup semi-final win over Wigan Warriors

Delighted boss Richard Agar handed all the credit to his players after Leeds Rhinos booked thier first trip to Wembley since 2015.

By Peter Smith
Saturday, 3rd October 2020, 9:02 pm

Delighted boss Richard Agar handed all the credit to his players after Leeds Rhinos booked their first trip to Wembley since 2015.

Rhinos will play Salford Red Devils in the Coral Challenge Cup final on Saturday, October 17, following a 26-12 semi-final win over Wigan Warriors in torrential rain at St Helens.

Leeds are also in Betfred Super League's top four and Agar has overseen a huge turnaround since taking charge in May last year.

Rhinos celebrate their semi-final defeat of Wigan. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.

They were in relegation danger for much of 2019 and Agar's first match was a Challenge Cup loss to Betfred Championship side Bradford Bulls.

"I'm really happy on a number of levels," the coach said after the semi-final.

"I am really happy for the players who have committed to everything we've asked from them.

"When we lost to Bradford last year it was a difficult day for the club and in terms of pulling together when everyone wants to give you a good kicking, we stuck together - at the moment we are in a Challenge Cup final, we are in the top-four and I can't pay tribute enough to our players for the commitment they have shown to each other."

Konrad Hurrell hits the ball up against Wigan. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.

Rhinos led 20-0 at half-time and were 26-0 ahead before Wigan scored two converted tries in the final five minutes.

Agar said: "We knew what we wanted to do and I thought we executed it to a tee.

"We felt that, despite difficult conditions, at times in the game we would have to pass the ball and move them around a bit.

"I thought in the first half we did it magnificently, we rolled down the pitch, executed our kick plan really well, chased and gave ourselves field position.

"If you give yourselves field position you have always got a chance of coming up with one or two tries.

"I thought our ability to take the chances when they came was excellent.

"Our halves did a terrific job and were manfully backed up by a forward pack that, apart from the last five minutes, looked like they could have defended all day."

Salford beat Warrington Wolves 24-22 in the other semi-final, thanks to Joey Lussic's try and a Krisnan Inu conversion five minutes from time.

Former Rhinos captain Kallum Watkins was among Salford's try scorers.

A message from the Editor:

Leeds has a fantastic story to tell - and the Yorkshire Evening Post has been rooted firmly at the heart of telling the stories of our city since 1890. We believe in ourselves and hope you believe in us too. We need your support to help ensure we can continue to be at the heart of life in Leeds. https://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/why-yorkshire-evening-post-needs-your-support-laura-collins-yep-editor-2913382

Subscribe to our website and enjoy unlimited access to local news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click here to subscribe. For more details on our newspaper subscription offers click here.

Thank you

Laura Collins