Leeds Rhinos' plan to try and stop Bevan French

Leeds Rhinos have drawn up a plan to try and stop Bevan French.
Bevan French scored two tries against Leeds last monthBevan French scored two tries against Leeds last month
Bevan French scored two tries against Leeds last month

The livewire Australian scored two tries when Wigan beat Richard Agar’s side 28-10 in Super League last month.

And halfback Luke Gale believes putting the shackles on French will go some way to deciding today’s Challenge Cup semi-final.

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“Jackson Hastings, obviously we know about him and he’s a great player, but Bevan French is another who’s added a new dimension to them this year,” said Gale.

“We know his dangers and we’ve worked on that this week.

“Rich has done our plan and we’re happy with that. All that is set now and all we need to do is go out and play the game.

“Wigan are a tough side who play with plenty of aggression. I’m sure both teams will come out swinging.”

Agar said: “They are a really good team with some of the best players in the comp’ in the side.

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“Sean O’Loughlin brings another dimension to them, particularly when they are playing out of their own half.

“The more structured ball movement plays come about through Sean, they have Jackson Hastings and Thomas Leuluai and probably the most exciting individual in the comp’ in Bevan French.

“He is one of those guys as a supporter you would pay to go into the stadium and watch some of the stuff he does. Liam Farrell is a tremendous player for them and I think they have a couple of real unsung heroes in Sam Powell and Willie Isa.

“We have prepared for them, we are very aware of their threats and very aware we are going to have to get our best performance out on the day to get this one against a strong and consistent team.”

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Leeds and Wigan both entered the competition at the quarter-final stage, owing to the disruptions caused by both the Covid-19 pandemic and then Toronto’s withdrawal.

But Gale says winning the famous trophy would be just as special.

“We’ve played Hull KR in the quarters and now we’re 80 minutes from getting into a final. We knew it’d be different,” said the former Man of Steel.

“The whole season has been and it’s been challenging. There’s a different challenge this week.

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“It’s been a strange year but a Challenge Cup is still a Challenge Cup in 2020 or 2023; you’re still a Challenge Cup winner.”

Gale admits he has been practicing drop goals in case the score is locked in the final stages.

“We’ve had about 10 do them in training this morning and been going in every stand!” he smiled.

“I do practice all the time and slot a few after training. It will be a tight game, weather will play a part so the kicking game will be massively important. We’ve left no stone unturned.”

Kick-off today is 2.30pm and the game is on the BBC.