Saints boss Kristian Woolf ready for 'do-or-die' cup tie

Leeds go into Saturday's Challenge Cup third round tie against St Helens at the Totally Wicked Stadium with nine players not available to head coach Richard Agar but the squad still contains 11 who were involved in the trip to Wembley last year when the Rhinos lifted the iconic trophy at the expense of Salford Red Devils.

Friday, 9th April 2021, 10:56 am
Kristian Woolf

Even so, Saints will be red-hot favourites but head coach Kristian Woolf will be taking nothing for granted in a competition which often provides a shock result or two.

He said: ''The players were really excited after the draw was made and will definitely be ready for what will be a do-or-die match. Make a mistake and you could be out and that applies to everyone left in the competition.

''This simply adds to the the pressure of the occasion but at the end of the day it is something we will have to deal with and solve.''

The head coach added: ''Winning the cup is a big goal for our boys, particularly the English contingent, and I know how highly it is regarded in this country.''

Leeds boss Richard Agar said: ''We couldn't have picked a tougher match so early in the competition and despite our injuries the experience we gained from lifting the trophy at Wembley last year will be invaluable.

''There is no ducking the fact it is a headliner fixture but we will be ensuring our boys are up to the job on the day against a well balanced Saints' side who have been the benchmark for other clubs over the past few years.''

Both coaches bemoaned the absence of fans but St Helens supporters will be able to pick up the consolation prize - a seat at home watching the match on BBC TV.