Wakefield Trinity Wildcats will be out to play the role of party poopers when they visit Huddersfield Giants on Sunday (kick-off 6.15pm).
Giants will lift the League Leaders’ Shield for the first time in 81 years with victory over Wildcats in the penultimate round of the regular Super League season.
But although a tough test lies in wait for Richard Agar and his men, the ’Cats boss says a clash with the table-toppers will be just the tonic for a side with little but pride to play for in their remaining two matches.
“We’re happy for that,” he said.
“It’s terrific on their pair that they’re in a position where they’re playing for the League Leaders’ shield, but it also sets it up nicely for us.
“We’re going to a team that’s playing for the trophy and we’re on television.
“The last game we’ve got is a huge derby [against Castleford] that’s probably going to settle who finishes above who in the competition by that stage of events, so the fact that both games have got some significance in the bigger picture will really help us.”
Wildcats saw their play-off hopes ended by defeat against St Helens in the last round, their fifth defeat on the spin.
A sixth straight loss on Sunday will mark the worst run of results since Agar’s arrival at the club and the ’Cats boss is hoping his side can cause an upset and finish the season with back-to-back wins to take a positive frame of mind into the close season.
“We’re on a run of defeats and during that time we feel there’s been a couple of games we’ve been in a position to win and not done it,” he said.
“We really stressed the importance of finishing the season well and trying to sustain and maintain everything we feel we’ve worked hard at over the last 18 months to two years.
“We sat down a couple of weeks ago and spoke about the importance of how we wanted to finish our season regardless of who we play and set ourselves some little goals and targets and that’s not changed. The focus will be about us.”
Wakefield pushed Giants all the way when the sides met at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium in February.
Huddersfield edged it 18-16 and Wildcats were left aggrieved that a Lee Smith try was chalked off late on.
But Agar believes the Giants have more than merited their place at the top.
“They’ve been the most consistent team in the competition and done really well.” he said.
“When you look at them I’m not too sure there’s a harder working team in the competition. And within the team they’ve got a couple of players who’ve excelled.”
Kyle Wood, on loan at Giants with a permanent switch being agreed for next season, is eligible to feature on Sunday.
But Agar says there is no imminent news on any incoming players for 2014.
He revealed: “It’s been slow progress for us at the moment. We’re still waiting for one or two things to unravel.”