DELIGHTED COACH Richard Agar hailed the Emerald Headingley crowd for equalising the numbers after 12-man Leeds Rhinos’ 48-8 thrashing of Catalans Dragons last night.
With Hull KR losing at Wigan Warriors, Rhinos will end the round at least two points clear of the relegation zone, whatever London Broncos’ result at Castleford Tigers this weekend.
If London lose, Leeds will have a four-point breathing space with just four rounds remaining.
Rhinos scored 32 unanswered points after substitute prop Brad Singleton was sent off in the second half.
The 11,000 crowd raised the volume following the red card and the team responded in stunning style, running in five tries.
“The send-off can go one of two ways,” Agar said.
“When we were down to 12 men I thought the crowd really helped equalise those numbers.
“The last few games, win or lose, they have been outstanding.
“It is inspiring to receive that support.”
Agar had no complaints about the red card, for a high tackle on Sam Kasiano..
He said: “He smacked him under the chin.
“He [Singleton] knew he got it wrong, but I don’t think there were heaps of malice in it.
“He got his timing and his target area wrong.”
Rhinos have scored 92 points in their last two games and conceded eight, but Agar admitted he didn’t see their devastating purple patch coming.
“The send-off galvanised us, everyone dug in,” he said.
“It is encouraging. Errors have been a problem for us all year, but we have conceded one try in two games and there were some big efforts after we were down to 12 men.”
Catalans coach Steve McNamara admitted to being “hugely disappointed”.
He said: “They had a man sent off and we never competed after that. Credit to Leeds, they were very good.”
Singleton stressed after the game there was “no malice” in the tackle which led to the red card.