Leeds Rhinos reaction - no panic after crushing loss to Hull FC

Disappointed boss Richard Agar says there will be no “knee-jerk reactions” to Leeds Rhinos’ 30-4 home drubbing by Hull.

Sunday, 2nd February 2020, 9:24 pm
Updated Monday, 3rd February 2020, 10:39 am

Leeds’ Betfred Super League campaign got off to a dismal start as they were outscored five tries to one in front of a sell-out 19,500 crowd at Emerald Headingley.

Rhinos struggled to cope with Hull’s huge pack, an issue which will fuel calls for another signing to boost their forward strength.

Agar, though, felt Leeds contributed to their own downfall and insisted there will be no panic moves this early in the season.

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Ash Handley scores Rhinos' only try against Hull FC. Picture by Tony Johnson.

“We missed Ava [Seumanufagai, who has a knee injury], a big man through the middle,” Agar admitted.

“The knee-jerk reaction is we want to go out and get a middle, but we’ve said all along we want to get the right bloke.

“A middle is someone we’d like to bring in for sure, but there’ll be no knee-jerk reactions.

“We got beat and well-beat, comprehensively, but we still believe in what we are doing and we will look at it pragmatically, assess where we went right and wrong and get better next week.”

Disappointment for Rhinos as Hull celebrate. Picture by Tony Johnson.

Asked where the game was won and lost, Agar said: “Probably the manner we let the tries in in the first half.

“That was unlike us, to be fair. We had two really clear-cut opportunities in the first 15 minutes, but the [Hull’s] try off the kick-chase, there’s no excuse for that.

“We’ve talked all week about being smart on the end of our kick-chase and to concede a try like that, I thought it really rattled us.

“We let it get to us and for the next 15-20 minutes we became a very erratic, disjointed team.

Konrad Hurrell on the charge before his game-ending head injury. Picture by Tony Johnson.

“It was 16-0 at half-time and in those conditions [driving rain] it was a big enough lead during their 30-4 home for them to stay patient and calm and we were chasing the game at that point.

“We have got no excuses, it was pretty poor play on our part to let the tries in the way we did.”

Agar added: “The obvious thing is to think they rolled us, but we brought a fair bit of that on ourselves with the way we handled things.

“Some individuals were off too. It’s round one, but it is a bit of a concern how far off we were.

“But at the same time we will have a look at and understand what went wrong. We have a bunch of boys who learn pretty quickly.

“We are an honest bunch and we know we can be better than this, but at the same time I don’t want to take anything away from Hull.

“They were very good for long periods. They completed high, carried forward and kicked well and it became a difficult night for us.

“We were beaten by a bigger and better team on the night.”

Leeds lost centre Konrad Hurrell to a head injury in the first half.

Agar reported: ‘“He’s a bit dusty, He had an injury to his ear early doors and then a head knock too.

“Stevie [Ward] had a deep gash to his cheek which took some stitching up, but no excuses.”