Leeds Rhinos ‘desperate’ to end Super League losing streak by getting over the line against Wakefield Trinity

LEEDS RHINOS head coach Richard Agar admits his side are “desperate” to end their losing run but maintains they still have time to re-emerge and mount a challenge for Betfred Super League glory.

Thursday, 13th May 2021, 6:15 am

They host Wakefield Trinity tomorrow night striving to avoid a sixth successive defeat in all competitions.

Already knocked out of the Challenge Cup – which they won last season – the eight-time Super League champions realise they have to get their act together soon if they are to make the most of their 2021 campaign.

Leeds’s only win was against Wakefield on the opening day of the season but their opponents are similarly itching for a victory given they have still yet to get off the mark.

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Agar, whose squad has admittedly been beset by injuries, conceded: “Obviously, our record isn’t a good one at this moment so we are desperate to get back on the horse.

“And we have been every week since our last win. In perspective for us, we have to keep the guys positive and I think – Hull KR apart, in which we had a particularly flat performance (26-6 loss) – we’ve been right in the contests.

“Yes, we’ve not been good enough to get over the line. But, generally, the talk among our boys is that we understand there’s some reasons behind that and some contributory factors.

“At the same time we’re not happy with that and we’re disappointed we’ve not been able to get over the line in at least one or two games. We’re not going to make any excuses and we still think there’s ample time left in the season – and enough ability in this side – to get a good run going in it.”

Luke Gale is back from injury this weekend. Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com

That is especially so tomorrow as Leeds welcome back captain Luke Gale, their England scrum-half who has missed the last four games due to a fractured thumb.

With the former Man of Steel’s enforced absence, stand-off Rob Lui (quad) still yet to play this term and fellow half-back Richie Myler being injured and then suspended, it is no surprise Rhinos have struggled at times.

“Galey’s a welcome return,” said Agar, with ex-England playmaker Kyle Eastmond also back in the mix.

“He’s our captain and kicks the ball and touches the ball more than any other player we’ve got so his influence back in the team has been immediate. It’s given some people some confidence.”

BIG NIGHT: Leeds Rhinos' Sean Long, Richard Agar and Jamie Jones-Buchanan. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

Meanwhile, tomorrow will be the final Super League game in this country played behind closed doors.

All other round six fixtures have been moved to Monday, to take advantage of that day’s lifting of the ban on crowds in sports stadiums.

Rhinos will play in front of fans for the first time in 14 months when Hull FC visit on May 23.

A temporary capacity of 4,000 will be expensive for the club as chief executive Gary Hetherington admitted: “It will cost us more to host the Hull and St Helens games with 4,000 in the stadium than it would for a full capacity crowd.

COMEBACK? Leeds' Kyle Eastmond in action. Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com

“That’s because of the stewarding levels required and extra duties, maintaining social distancing and the on-going cleaning regime throughout the period the stadium is opening.”

However, he hopes to see full capacities once government restrictions are lifted on June 21.

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