Forget the play-offs - Leeds Rhinos and Richard Agar’s focus is all on Hull KR

LEEDS RHINOS could have four forwards back for next week’s opening play-off, but boss Richard Agar insists he is not looking that far ahead.

Friday, 17th September 2021, 12:53 am
Winning mentality: Leeds Rhinos coach Richard Agar. Picture by Ed Sykes/SWpix.com

LEEDS RHINOS could have four forwards back for next week’s opening play-off, but boss Richard Agar insists he is not looking that far ahead.

Rhinos secured a place in the play-offs when seventh-placed Castleford Tigers lost 40-24 at home to Warrington Wolves after a rollercoaster final game of the campaign last night.

That means rather than being a shootout for the last spot in the end of season series, tonight’s game against Hull KR will decide who finishes fifth and sixth.

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The winners will travel to fourth-placed Wigan Warriors next Thursday.

This evening’s losers will end the regular season in sixth and visit Warrington a week today.

Zane Tetevano’s three-match ban ends tonight and Mikolaj Oledzki, Alex Mellor and King Vuniyayawa could all return for Leeds for the elimination play-off.

But Agar said he is not thinking about what might happen next week

“It’s always about the next game,” Agar said of Rhinos’ approach.

“We’ve got to win [tonight] and then we’ll look at it from there.

“Of course, as coaching staff you try to plan and look beyond, but we know looking too far forward is a bit of an impossibility at this stage.

“We will get this one dusted and then see where we’re at.”

Rhinos are on the rebound from a 40-6 drubbing at St Helens seven days ago and Agar stressed: “You don’t want to go into the play-offs on the back of a heavy defeat and a performance that’s not where you want it.

“Right from last week, we’ve adopted the mentality we are in play-offs football now.

“We had a disappointing performance last week, but we knew our team would change a bit [for tonight].

“We had to quickly leave that behind us because the competition is different this week for us, we are in sudden-death football from now on.”

Of Rovers, Agar said: “They are really good, the last two games they’ve got a bit more of their confidence back and their attack has looked a lot better.

“Last week will have been a real confidence-boosting victory against a good side in what was a must-win game for them.”