Wigan Warriors v Leeds Rhinos: Why Adrian Lam and Liam Farrell are confident but wary of Rhinos’ threats
WIGAN WARRIORS are in confident but cautious mood ahead of tonight’s elimination play-off against Leeds Rhinos.
Wigan have home advantage after finishing fourth in the table, one place ahead of Rhinos. Both teams triumphed on the other’s ground in the regular season, with Rhinos recording a 14-0 victory at DW Stadium a month ago.
Warriors have won three of their four games since, including a home conquering of league leaders Catalans Dragons, which coach Adrian Lam described as “a confidence builder for us”.
But Lam admitted tonight’s game could go down to the wire, and he warned: “Leeds have some great individuals and, when they are playing their best rugby, they are as good as any team in the competition in my opinion.
“We understand the challenge that’s ahead of us and we know it’s going to be a tough game, but we are looking forward to it.”
While winning the Grand Final would be the perfect farewell for Lam, who will leave Wigan at the end of this season, he stressed he is not looking that far ahead.
“I am strong in the belief we can get it together at the important times in the season,” Lam said.
“We are now at that point so, hopefully, we can see that on the field for 80 minutes on Thursday. Let’s get that right first and then we can see what’s next.”
England centre/second-row Liam Farrell also insists Wigan will not take Rhinos lightly.
“They will probably say themselves they have had an up-and-down year in the league, like ourselves,” Farrell said. “But one thing you will always get from Leeds is they are a big-game team, the team in general has been involved in big games and they know how to handle the pressure.
“We know they will be fighting until the death. Defensively, they are scrambling for each other really well so we know what to expect from them.
“They have got some big bodies, we are expecting them to have some key players back this week and we have some big individual threats to deal with. If we keep defending like we are doing, we will give ourselves a chance but we know the threats Leeds will pose.”
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