INTERIM-BOSS RICHARD Agar says Leeds Rhinos are in a “good place” ahead of tonight’s huge relegation four-pointer at Huddersfield Giants.
Rhinos are third from bottom in Betfred Super League with only points difference separating them from the relegation zone.
Successive defeats to Hull KR and Hull have dragged them back into the dogfight after they seemed to be pulling clear, but Agar is upbeat, insisting the squad have trained well after returning from three days off last week.
“We feel like we are in a good place,” he insisted. “We have had a setback in that we haven’t picked up either of our last two, but we still feel we’ve got some good footy left in us.
“We [Leeds and Huddersfield] are next to each other in the comp’ so that’s a little extra incentive, but we are taking it one week at a time and we will be ready and prepared.”
Giants are on the back of a morale-boosting win at Hull KR two weeks ago, a week after the Robins had beaten Leeds.
They are two points clear of Rhinos and will be close to safety if they can back up this evening.
“They are showing some resilience and a lot of togetherness and spirit, especially in the way they defended at Hull KR,” Agar noted.
“They executed their game plan really well, they’ve got a dangerous kicking game that’s producing rewards for them and they’ve got some big boppers up the middle.
“They have got a couple of smart dummy-halves who are a threat at different places on the field.
“Kruise Leeming always runs good metres and is a nice footballer and Adam O’Brien is very dangerous close to the tryline.”
Agar reckons Rhinos have enough points in them to win the game, but admitted they have to regain the defensive toughness they showed in last month’s wins over Catalans Dragons and Castleford Tigers.
“We feel we’ve started not great defensively in the last two games and that’s going to be a real key for us this week,” he pledged.
“We were in a happy place with our defence and we have had a couple of off-colour starts.
“That’s definitely an area we will be looking to fix up.
“It is great coming up with 24 points, but that should be enough to win a game.
“Our focus this week is very much on defence and starting well.”
Leeds have almost a clean bill of health with only Carl Ablett and Dom Crosby – who haven’t played this season – on the casualty list, along with Stevie Ward who could be available for next week’s visit of Catalans Dragons.
“We are fit and healthy,” Agar confirmed.
“We have got a selection decision in that Richie [Myler] is back from his suspension so we have to decide whether to change the team or leave it be.”