Rhinos keeping cool ahead of semi-final showdown
By Liam Williams
Leeds Rhinos centre Kallum Watkins is confident the defending champions’ experience in big games will make a difference when they bid to reach the 2013 Super League Grand Final by defeating Wigan Warriors in Friday’s qualifying semi-final at the DW Stadium (8.00pm).
Wigan secured their place in the last four with a win over Huddersfield Giants in Week One of the play-offs while Leeds booked their semi-final berth after a dramatic 11-10 victory over St Helens last weekend, when composure was the key according to Watkins.
“The main thing is to keep your cool in these situations when you’re under pressure,” he said.
“All credit to the boys, and in particular Carl Ablett, who was outstanding against St Helens. He really set a great example with his attitude and hard work throughout and that’s what we need to keep up against Wigan.
“It was quite scary at times against St Helens, they put a lot of pressure on us and it was nip and tuck all the way through the game but that's all part of the play-offs and we know we’re in for more of that this week.
“But we’re confident in our ability and hopefully we can get the job done on Friday.”
The win against St Helens came via the boot of Danny McGuire, just as the game looked to be slipping away from last season's Grand Final winners – McGuire’s drop-goal sealed an 11-10 victory.
“I was relieved to see it go over,” said McGuire. “It’s nice to have come through that type of match and we’re all looking forward to Friday now and taking on Wigan.
“We’ve had it tough this year with plenty of injuries, but we’re still battling it out. We know we’ve got to come up with another great performance to keep our season alive but hopefully we can get the result and get to Old Trafford once again.”
Tickets for the Wigan Warriors v Leeds Rhinos Super League play-off semi-final at the DW Stadium on Friday September 27 (8.00pm) cost from just £18 for adults, £12 for concessions and £5 for juniors and can be purchased by calling the Wigan Warriors Ticket Hotline on 087166 33 552.
The 2013 Super League Grand Final takes place at Old Trafford, Manchester, on Saturday October 5 (6.00pm) when tickets cost from just £20. Family tickets giving entry to two adults and two children are also available for £70 and can be purchased by visiting www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk or calling 0844 856 1113.