INTERIM-BOSS RICHARD Agar felt returning duo Stevie Ward and Jamie Jones-Buchanan put some of their Leeds Rhinos team-mates “to shame” last night.
Both made their comeback from long-term injury in Rhinos’ 20-12 home defeat by Salford Red Devils.
Agar – who is expected to be confirmed as permanent coach – questioned his team’s “puzzling” last tackle plays and though he felt Leeds defended “heroically” at times, some “poor decisions by individuals” cost them any chance of a win.
It was Ward’s first game since he suffered a knee injury in February and Jones-Buchanan, who will retire after next Friday’s vist of Warrington Wolves, had been out of action since May.
“I tip my hat to them, they put a couple of players to shame with their effort after such long layoffs,” Agar said.
“It really says a lot about the mentality of those guys.
“For us moving forward we have got to capture that mentality and permeate it through the rest of our squad.
“It’s marvelous to get Wardy back and going so well so early and you know Jonesy is going to put everything on the line for you.”
It was Salford’s seventh successive Super League win and Agar said Leeds can learn from last night’s opponents.
“The effort and commitment was there for all to see,” Agar said.
“But we’re disappointed to let 20 points in. Salford showed us the way on that, when you play good teams you have to do it better for longer.”