Leeds Rhinos (16/1 – Grand Final Winner) coach Richard Agar is expecting a game of fine margins when his side travels to the DW Stadium to take on Wigan Warriors in the Betfred Super League elimination playoffs on Thursday.
The Rhinos were already assured of their place in the top six heading into their final match of the regular season against Hull KR at Headingley on Friday, but they leapfrogged their opponents into fifth position by virtue of their impressive 36-12 win.
That result means Agar’s side will now face rivals Wigan (10/1 – Grand Final Winner) in next week’s playoffs, and they will head into the contest having claimed a 14-0 victory over Adrian Lam’s side on their last visit to the DW less than a month ago.
However, Agar does not feel that result will have any impact on how Thursday’s must-win contest will pan out.
“We played them about three weeks ago but my initial thoughts are that it’s going to be a totally different style of game from what this was tonight, I can assure you of that,” the 49-year-old told reporters.
Agar is certainly expecting a tight encounter next Thursday, as Leeds aim to set up a playoff semi-final against Catalans Dragons (3/1 – Grand Final Winner) at the Stade Gilbert Brutus on September 30.
“Going away to Wigan in a play-off at this time of year is a difficult game and I’m expecting a really tight, intense contest,” Agar added.
“But our boys have never stopped believing – I’m pleased we’re in with a shout and it’s all to play for next week.”
Wigan against Leeds will be the opening match of the playoffs, with Warrington’s (4/1 – Grand Final Winner) clash with Hull KR (28/1) set to take place at the Halliwell Jones Stadium on Friday – the winner of that contest will face a trip to reigning champions St Helens (10/11 Fav) in the semi-finals.