Leeds Rhinos v Salford Red Devils: There’s still plenty to play for, insists Richard Agar
THE MAIN job is done, but interim-boss Richard Agar insists Leeds Rhinos have “a lot” to play for tomorrow.
Rhinos take on fourth-placed Salford Red Devils at Emerald Headingley five days after winning at London Broncos to effectively seal Betfred Super League survival.
Rhinos are four points clear of bottom club London and have a much better for and against, but Agar said they will go into their final two games with all guns blazing.
Remaining targets are to prove they can beat top-four sides, attempt to overhaul Catalans Dragons for seventh spot and, most importantly, reward Leeds’ fans.
“There’s been a couple of games against top-four teams – Hull and St Helens – when we felt we had a chance of getting a result and we didn’t do that,” Agar said.
“We are playing two top-four teams, Salford and Warrington, in the run-in and we want to finish the season positively. It is not a case of job done and cue in the rack.
“We will respect the badge, but an important one is our fans have stuck with us through thick and thin.
“I think the way we have been supported from the terraces in what has been a challenging and difficult period for the club and the team – on the back of a few under-performing years as well – has been remarkable.
“Even London away last weekend, it was awesome.”
Catalans, who visit Wigan Warriors tomorrow and Huddersfield Giants next week, are four points ahead of Leeds, but with a worse points difference.
Agar added: “We want to finish in a positive way and catch Catalans if we can.
“We want to move another place up the league table – and finish with some good performances and hopefully victories over two very good teams.”
Agar admitted backing up against an in-form team just five days after a sapping win on an artificial pitch is a tall order.
“It has taken a little bit out of some players,” he confirmed.
“But we have got some fit and fresh bodies and we think it’s important we get some energy into our team.
“We have had very limited preparation for this game.”
Though the pressure is off Rhinos following the victory at London, Agar accepts being eighth in the table is nothing to get excited about.
“Eight games ago, at St Helens, we all sat round and we talked about relegation,” he recalled.
“We set a six-to-seven game target, there was a bit of a slip-up in there and we did it in eight.
“It is really important we acknowledge we’ve got the job done, but avoiding relegation is not a celebration.
“However the way we have pulled together in some extreme adversity and disfunction at times has been a real credit to the players - and some of them in particular who drove that.”