Leeds Rhinos boss Richard Agar reflects on 'eventful' Super League win at Salford Red Devils

Rhinos' 38-12 win at Salford Red Devils was summarised in one word by Leeds coach Richard Agar - “eventful”.

Monday, 28th June 2021, 7:00 am
Bodene Thompson, fourth from left, departd after referee Robert Hicks brandishes the red card. Picture by Steve Riding.

Rhinos whose previous game was a 60-6 win at Castleford Tigers a month ago today, ran in seven tries, despite having only 15 available players for most of the match.

Loose-forward Bodene Thomspon was sent-off after 15 minutes along with Salford’s Lee Mossop, and Leeds also lost centre Konrad Hurrell who failed a head injury assessment after being punched by Mossop.

Salford’s Jack Wells was sin-binned soon afterwards following a dangerous tackle and Leeds skipper Luke Gale and home substitute Ryan Lannon were each shown a yellow card following a second-half scrap.

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Tom Briscoe scores for Rhinos. Picture by Steve Riding.

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Salford Red Devils 12 Leeds Rhinos 38: Why Rhinos coach Richard Agar is proud of...

Ash Handley, who suffered concussion playing for England three days ago, is also ruled out and Leeds face an anxious wait for the finding of today’s match review panel, which will decide if any players are suspended. Agar was delighted at the way his side coped with the disruption caused by the red and yellow cards, joking that being able to train with only 11 or 12 players - due to injuries and Covid - had paid off.

He said: “It was quite eventful.

“I am pleased to get the win, I thought we shared the workload around really well.

“Going down to 12 and then 11, the referee was brought into it a number of times because of some discipline issues from both teams.

“Until the last 10 minutes, Salford had only got an intercept try and I thought we showed a terrific desire defensively.

“Richie Myer organised our line really well and, for the most part, we defended all right.”

Agar admitted some errors in the first half prevented Rhinos fully hitting their stride.

“We felt we were legging Salford up a bit,” he said.

“Our ball control was around 58 per cent at half-time and Salford were at around 90.

“We felt if we could eradicate some of those errors it was a game we felt we could go on and win in the second half, which we did.

“After they got the intercept, we came back with two tries before half-time and I thought that was a really big period in terms of deciding the contest.”

Agar declined to comment in depth on either the sendings-off or Luke Gale’s sin-binning, both of which followed incidents in back-play.

“We have been training with 11 and 12 blokes for quite a while so we’ve had a fair bit of practice,” he said. “As daft as it sounds, we’ve spent the last few weeks practising.”

Agar was pleased with all four players who backed up from international duty and praised Myler’s contribution, which included two tries in as many minutes at the end of the first half. He also singled out right-winger Luke Briscoe and his brother Tom, who was in the left-centre.

Of Myler’s injury, he said: “We’ve got our fingers crossed it is just a finger dislocation and nothing more, but it looks a fairly nasty one.”

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