Agar's ragtag army
Martin Offiah looks back at the final round of the Super League season and what to expect from the play-offs.
Last Updated: 10/09/12 12:13pm
After a dramatic end to the regular season, Martin Offiah reflected on the final round of Super League action on Sky Sports News, and looked ahead to the play-offs.
Wigan were presented with the league leaders shield on Friday night, however not in the way they would have wanted as they went down 18-26 to fierce rivals St Helens.
The Warriors had to play the majority of the match a man down following Michael McIlorum's red card that cost the home side dearly not just for Friday's match but also possibly for the play-offs.
"Wigan have been the stand out performers all season - obviously they were not as good on Friday night but they were down to 12 men against St Helens," said Offiah on Sky Sports News.
"I think Wigan spoilt their own party with the sending off. St Helens only had to play against 12 men - the score line 26-18 showed just how much effort Wigan put into this game but as expected they got tired as the game went on and Saints claimed a good victory.
"We shall see how they get on against Catalans in the play-off. I think Wigan are favourites to beat the French outfit - you can't really look past Wigan - but there is a lot of water to go under the bridge before we get to the Grand Final."
Praise for Agar
Offiah also had plenty of praise for Richard Agar who has turned Wakefield around from last season, but says they will have to be at their best when they take on Leeds in next weekend's play-offs.
"In 14 months Wakefield have gone from the basement to the penthouse, I really think their coach Richard Agar has to take a lot of credit for that," added Offiah.
"He has got a ragtag army together of players who have been rejected at other clubs and he has moulded them into a team They are Super League's form team at the moment and are heading into the play-offs with seven wins on the bounce. There are still a lot of questions surrounding their defence but I think that will be answered next Saturday against Leeds."
Challenge Cup winners Warrington rounded of their season with a 52-14 win over Widnes and Offiah is not ruling them out of doing the elusive double.
"Warrington were very dominant over Widnes and I think they are going to be tough to beat. The double has not been done since 2006 when St Helens did it and I think that the dates were a bit kinder to Saints. It is doable but we will have to wait and see if Warrington can do it."
Huddersfield thrashed Leeds 48-24 to complete their first league double over the Rhinos for more than half a century and go into the play-offs on a high, and Offiah says they could well be the dark horses.
"Huddersfield imploded midway through the season when they exited from the cup early on and got rid of their coach Nathan Brown. Paul Anderson took over and nothing really changed. They managed to scramble enough wins to together to get that seventh spot and are in the play-offs.
"No one really took them seriously until this game against Leeds where they went out and put together a performance like that with only 12 men. You see that and you think everything is possible."