Leeds Rhinos coach Richard Agar doing 'terrific job' says Hull KR rival Tony Smith
Rival coach Tony Smith has paid a glowing tribute to Leeds boss Richard Agar - and said he will not be surprised if Rhinos go on to win the Grand Final from outside Betfred Super League’s top four.
Smith masterminded Rhinos’ title triumphs in 2004 and 2007 and worked with Agar at Warrington Wolves, but is now in charge of this week’s visitors Hull KR.
If Castleford beat Warrington Wolves tomorrow, Friday’s winners will grab the last remaining play-off spot, though both will qualify should Tigers lose.
Rovers will be without Greg Minikin, who suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury in last Saturday’s win over Tigers and ex-Rhinos hero Ryan Hall (arm) is also ruled out.
They won 26-6 when the sides met in April, but Smith feels injury-hit Leeds have been “really good” this year.
“They fell pretty quick from a really good one, they have had a big change over in personnel and he has had to regrow some of that culture and belief.
“I think he has done a great job, I am complimentary and proud of what he has done there.”
Smith also praised Rhinos’ youth production line.
“They have got some fantastic young players coming through,” he said.
“They are still in there and anything could happen, they might go through and do something they’ve done before where they haven’t been the best team all year, but they might go and win the comp’.
“That still wouldn’t surprise me, because that’s what they’ve done in the past.
“But whatever happens, the experience some of their young players have been getting is terrific and will stand them in good stead for the future.”
Smith admitted that is something he is trying to replicate at his club.
He said: “I am a bit envious of what stage they are at, but we are coming to chase them, that’s for sure.”
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