Leeds Rhinos coach Richard Agar blasts defensive frailties in heavy Wigan defeat

BOSS RICHARD Agar blamed a “really poor defensive performance” for Leeds Rhinos’ 34-12 defeat at Wigan Warriors last night.

By Peter Smith
Friday, 18th February 2022, 11:17 pm
Updated Saturday, 19th February 2022, 4:21 am

Rhinos went ahead through a try by debutant Blake Austin, but Wigan led 12-6 at the break and scored three tries in the first 10 minutes of the second period to take a stranglehold on the game.

Agar, inset, felt Rhinos fell away after props Matt Prior and Zane Tetevano were replaced and admitted he was “majorly disappointed with a lot of aspects of our game, particularly defensively”.

He said: “I thought in the first 20-25 minutes it looked like being a real contest.

Debut score: Blake Austin scores the Rhinos first try on his Super League debut for the club against Wigan Warriors. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

“We started pretty well, looked threatening with the ball and defensively we weren’t too bad.

“I was happy with the way we were going, but Liam Tindall made a break and was in touch on the first tackle and then we made an error coming out of yardage and we didn’t get a look in the game after that.”

Agar said he sensed problems at half-time and added: “In the first 20 minues of the second half we were so far off the mark defensively, we were lacking in line speed and contact.

“There were some really, really poor individual performances. They scored some of their tries through fundamental errors and it was a really poor defensive performance.”

Angry: Leeds Rhinos coach Richard Agar didn't like what he saw in the defeat by Wigan.

Rhinos lost winger Ash Handley to a hip injury in the second half and forward Cameron Smith with a back problem and both will be assessed before Thursday’s visit of Catalans Dragons.