Leeds Rhinos - what could be on coach Richard Agar's agenda this week
There's still a long way to go, but Leeds Rhinos are in danger of dropping out of the top-six race following their latest defeat.
With six of the 25 rounds completed, Rhinos are ninth in Betfred Super League and face a crucial derby at Castleford Tigers, who hold the final play-offs spot, on Friday. So what issues does coach Richard Agar face this week?
1: Scoring points. Rhinos defended well for the most of their 18-12 home loss to Hull and should be capable of winning when they restrict their opponents to three tries. But Leeds have scored more than 18 points only once this year, in their round one win over Wakefield and have managed just 18 tries in eight competitive games. In the second half against Hull, they received seven penalties and three six-agains, but scored one try. There’s strike power in the team, but it’s not being used. Until they sort that out, they won’t win many games.
2: Fine margins: Rhinos can get over the line. They had three touchdowns ruled out on video evidence against Hull and a couple more disallowed the previous week, so Agar will feel there’s nothing wrong that can’t be fixed, particularly if they ever manage to get two half-backs on the field at the same time.
3: Pressure mounting: It’s early days, but Rhinos need to grab some wins or their season will effectively be over. At the moment, with Leigh Centurions struggling, there’s not the same pressure as two years ago, when London Broncos were picking up points, but a top-four finish, which seemed a realistic target before round one, is a long way off.
4: Full-back: Jack Broadbent has done a good job this year, out of position, but playing Richie Myler there, after his two-game ban, was the right decision. His experience is important and, though both are rusty at the moment, he has a good understanding with Luke Gale. Broadbent was probably due a rest, but has proved he has what it takes to play at the top level. It would be good to see him get a go in the centres at some stage.
5: The right-side. Hull’s three tries came down Rhinos’ right. It is an obvious area Leeds need to be better in.