Leeds Rhinos head coach Richard Agar insists his team can beat St Helens (Match betting 80 mins – St Helens 1/4, Leeds 16/5, tie 25/1) in their Betfred Super League play off semi-final, but admits they must be defensively sound.

The Rhinos are seeking to get to their first Grand Final since 2017, when they beat Castleford Tigers in the Old Trafford showpiece.

However, Kristian Woolf’s Saints are the big favourites having won the competition in each of the last two years.

They finished second in the regular season, three places above Leeds.

Leeds’ recent record against St Helens makes for grim reading ahead of Friday’s spectacle – they have lost each of their last eight meetings and were thumped 40-6 at the Totally Wicked Stadium just three weeks ago.

However, Agar thinks his team can spring a surprise though has warned his players to be vigilant in the early stages against the strong Saints side.

“Defensively we have got to be as good as we possibly can be and make sure our kick-chase is as good as it has been all year and get ready for a really tough physical battle,” he said.

“The key against Saints is their opening 20-25 minutes is usually very good.

“I think meeting fire with fire in those opening minutes is going to be really important for us. We have to make sure our start is as good as it possibly can be.”

The winners will face Catalans Dragons in next week’s Grand Final (Grand Final winner – St Helens 4/6, Catalans 13/8, Leeds 6/1) after Steve McNamara’s men defeated Hull KR 28-10 to reach the season finale for the first time.

Whenever you bet on Rugby League, Betfred.

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •