Leeds Rhinos V Wigan Warriors preview: Here is everything you need to know ahead of this weekend's Challenge Cup tie
Matty Peet’s side will be looking for a reaction following their 40-18 defeat to the same opponent at the DW Stadium last week.
The Warriors enjoyed success in this competition in 2022 and will be hoping for another strong cup run.
Here is some of the key information ahead of this week’s game:
The Rhinos had lost back-to-back games heading into last week’s meeting with Wigan, but demonstrated plenty of fight and determination at the DW Stadium to claim the two points.
At the break they were behind 14-6 and only had 12 men following Zane Tetevano’s red card.
Nonetheless, it was the Warriors who looked like they were missing a player, as they completely collapsed in the second half.
Leeds remain eighth in the Super League table with six wins from their opening 12 games, but will have their sights firmly set on moving up the table.
They will also be hoping for success in the cup.
Throughout their history they have won the competition 14 times, with the most recent coming in 2020.
Rohan Smith became Leeds head coach last April, taking over from Richard Agar.
His previous teams include Tonga, Bradford Bulls and North Devils, who compete in the Queensland coach.
He has also held coaching roles in the NRL with Penrith Panthers and Gold Coast Titans.
Ash Handley has four tries under his belt for Leeds this season, and also impressed in the recent mid-season international for England, where he scored a hat-trick for Shaun Wane’s side.
Meanwhile, Rhyse Martin is the Rhinos’ top scorer with six, as well as successfully kicking 30 goals.
Harry Newman is another player the Warriors will need to be wary of, after the centre scored a brace from two inceptions last week.
Leeds have got the better of Wigan in the previous three meetings between the two clubs.
Prior to last week’s game, the Rhinos had come out on top in a play-off semi-final clash at the DW Stadium back in September, with James Bentley going over for a brace in a 8-20 win.
They also produced a 42-12 victory when they welcomed the Warriors to Headingley last season.
The most recent win for Peet’s side against Leeds came at the beginning of the 2022 campaign.
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Challenge Cup history
Wigan have only won one of their last five Challenge Cup meetings with the Rhinos, with that victory coming in the 2011 final at Wembley.
Jeff Lima went over for a brace, while Josh Charnley, Joel Tomkins and Thomas Leuluai also crossed for tries, as the game finished 28-18.
Meanwhile, the last game between the two in this competition was back in 2020.
Leeds claimed a 26-12 victory at the Totally Wicked Stadium to book their place in the final.
Where to watch
The game is being broadcast live on BBC One with coverage starting at 2pm.
Elsewhere this weekend
Wigan’s Academy side are among those also in action on Saturday, as they welcome Castleford Tigers to Robin Park Arena (K.O. 12pm).
It will be another chance for the youngsters to impress, after seven Warriors players were selected to represent Lancashire in their second Origin test later this month.
Ryan Brown, Jack Farrimond, Noah Hodkinson, Taylor Kerr, Nathan Lowe, Lukas Mason and Tom Ratchford will all be involved in the game against Yorkshire at Craven Park on May 27.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Wigan’s wheelchair side resume their Super League campaign.
Phil Roberts’ side take on Warrington Wolves at Preston College, as they look to return to winning ways following back-to-back defeats.
Meanwhile, Wigan’s LDRL side are in action as well.
They are among the teams taking part in a festival in Warrington.
On Sunday afternoon, Wigan Warriors Women welcome Salford Red Devils to Robin Park Arena in their final Challenge Cup group game.
They are unbeaten in the competition so far, with previous victories coming against Cardiff Demons and Featherstone Rovers.
Kris Ratcliffe’s side also enjoyed success in the nines competition at Warrington’s Victoria Park.
The Warriors started the day with a 26-0 victory over Leigh Leopards, with two bonus tries for Grace Banks, a brace for Beri Salihi, and one for Kerrie Evans.
They then followed that up with a 29-0 win against Castleford Tigers.
Salihi claimed a bonus try along with Molly Jones and Eva Hunter, while Vicky Molyneux was also on the scoresheet.
They finished the day by beating London Broncos 27-4.
Banks bagged another bonus try along with Emma Davies, while Evans and Cerys Jones went over as well.
Wigan will now compete at the finals day event at the AJ Bell Stadium on June 24.
This game can’t come quick enough for Peet’s side following last week’s performance.
That second half was a complete disaster, and saw many fans head to the exit early.
A lack of desire is not something you’ve been able to associate with this group in recent times, so they need to swiftly get back on track.
There’s no reason why they can’t return to winning way on Saturday afternoon- they’ve got the capability of overcoming Leeds, they just need to apply themselves for 80 minutes.
If anything, this is the perfect fixture for the Warriors to prove a point and put last week firmly behind them.