Hit and miss as Leeds Rhinos coach Richard Agar rues second-half failings

LEEDS RHINOS coach Richard Agar had mixed feelings after his side’s winning run came to an end last night.

Friday, 9th July 2021, 11:26 pm
Updated Saturday, 10th July 2021, 11:08 am
Over the line: Rhinos forward Bodene Thompson goes over to score his side's second try. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

LEEDS RHINOS coach Richard Agar had mixed feelings after his side’s winning run came to an end last night.

Agar was pleased with his side’s first half effort against Betfred Super League leaders Catalans Dragons and felt they should have been further than 18-8 in front at the break.

But Leeds failed to score in the second period and Agar admitted his team were “running on empty” at the end of their fourth game in 13 days.

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It's a try: Referee James Child signals that Liam Sutcliffe has scored - to the delight of captain Luke Gale. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

“I thought it was a mixed bag for us,” he said.

“We had tons of energy in the first half and we were creating and breaking the line.

“We had a couple of chances to score, one we definitely should have taken and that would’ve taken the game right into the balance.

“We caused them some real problems and probably should have come in at least one score further up, but in the second half I’d applaud the opposition.

“We can look to our schedule and our workload, but they [Catalans] were very methodical and when they had a couple of chances they executed really well.

“There were a couple of really poor elements to what we were doing, but we didn’t have the energy or field position to change the momentum of the game and get ourselves back in it.”

Rhinos welcomed four players back from injury, but Mikolaj Oledzki and Ash Handley both missed the game after having to isolate.

Agar said that was “not ideal”, but insisted: “It’s where the game’s at at the moment.

“There are no excuses on our part, but I know the players have tried exceptionally hard and some of the guys were running on empty.

“I am not surprised, but I do feel we probably had a bit better of an opportunity than the final scoreline suggested.”

Rhinos are back in action next Friday, in the return fixture at Catalans who are now on a club record eight-game winning run.

Centre Harry Newman will resume full training on Monday, after being given the all-clear from the broken leg he suffered last September.

“That’s great news,” Agar said.

“He’ll be available in a week or two.”