WAKEFIELD Trinity Wildcats head coach Richard Agar believes the absence of Leeds Rhinos half-back Danny McGuire will help tip today’s Carnegie Challenge Cup final in Warrington Wolves’ favour.
McGuire suffered a knee injury in Leeds’ victory over Widnes Vikings earlier this month and will definitely be out of the Wembley clash.
And Agar, who took Hull FC to a Challenge Cup final, believes that Wolves will snatch what he expects to be an extremely close contest.
“It’s a tough one. I think Danny McGuire being out is a sizeable loss for Leeds,” he said.
“Leeds can cover a lot of positions with the depth of the squad and the quality but I think Danny is undoubtedly one of Leeds’ most influential players.”
Rhinos defeated Agar’s Wakefield side en-route to the final and the Cats coach certainly isn’t ruling out more silverware going to the Headingley Carnegie club.
He believes Leeds can pull big performances out of the bag at just the right moments and today could be one such occasion.
“I’m a person who is very reluctant to ever back against Leeds in a big game, whether it be a final or a play-off game,” he commented.
“When they went to Warrington last year nobody would have given them a hope of getting a result and it was one of the greatest performances of the season and they subsequently went on to be the champions.
“I think it would be foolish for anyone to back against Leeds in a major game, but I also think Warrington are coming in to some great form at the right time of the year and I think it’s a really tough one to call.
“If you wanted me to stick my neck on the line, at the moment I’d say Warrington have been the more consistent side and probably performed well in more big games this year than Leeds have, but I don’t think many people would have given Leeds a chance against Wigan in the semi-final and they pulled off one of the best Challenge Cup performances I’ve seen for many years. So it’s a really tough one to call.”
See this week’s Wakefield Express for all the latest sports news from around the district.