THE 36-20 home loss to league leaders St Helens was a reality check, Leeds Rhinos’ interim-coach Richard Agar admitted.
Rhinos had climbed to eighth in Betfred Super League after big wins over Huddersfield Giants and Catalans Dragons.
They went into yesterday’s game confident of handing out only Saints’ fourth defeat of the season, but the visitors took a grip on the game with 30 unanswered points either side of half-time.
Agar reflected: “The biggest concern for me was the manner of the defence.
“We’ve shown in recent weeks we are better than that.
“It was poor, but it lets us know where we are at.
“We weren’t getting carried away with two wins, but it has enlightened us a bit.
“We know two good weeks and one bad week isn’t good enough.”
Agar described Saints as “far and away” the best team in the European game.
Of his own team’s performance, he added: “I thought our effort was good enough in the first half, but we let them off the hook.
“We felt we had enough opportunities, but we were trying to force and push passes.
“When we played controlled footy we caused them a lot of trouble, but in the second half we made a mistake, didn’t touch the ball for four sets, made another mistake and didn’t touch it for six.
“The second half was as disappointing a period I have experienced with this team.”
Leeds lost front-rower Ava Seumanufagai to a head injury in the first half.
Agar said: “He’s not too bad, but we missed him.”