Salford Red Devils v Leeds Rhinos: Let's put the boot in says Agar
Saturday's game at Salford Red Devils is all about kicking on, according to Leeds Rhinos boss Richard Agar.
Rhinos are looking to take up from where they left off in last Friday's 52-10 win over Hull KR and Agar reckons putting boot to ball is one way of doing that.
“It is something we highlighted as a major improvement from last year, our ability to convert some pressure into points in different ways,” Agar said.
“Our tries from kicks last year was the second-lowest in the competition so it has been a bit of a goal of ours to try and significantly fix that.”
Rhinos scored only 11 tries from kicks during the 2019 Super League campaign.
Four of Leeds’ nine touchdown last week were created by a Rhinos boot and Agar added: “They came in a variety of ways.
“Some were straight forward bombs at the full-back or winger, but there others where the chase got the reward.
“From that it would be nice to think we have made some improvements in that area and we can carry that on this week.”
The demolition of Hull KR was an impressive response to Rhinos’ defeat by Hull in their previous game and today is an opportunity to prove that was not a flash in the pan.
Agar insisted: “We are two games in, but the key to having a successful season is being consistent.
“It depends on how you measure consistency, but if you are going on points accrued over the back half of last year we’d have been close to being a top-four team.
“We are getting there. We will measure our consistency over the 29 rounds this year, but a consistent team is what we are striving to be.
“I think we have got the makings of a good squad, we have got the ability and I still think we are a pretty young team.
“We have got a number of players who, Super League-wise, are still quite inexperienced, but are very talented with a lot of promise and improvement in them too.”
Rhinos will go into today’s match in confident mood, but Agar believes Salford are a better side than their record of two defeats from three matches this year suggests.
“It’s a new game and different opposition,” he said.
“We were disappointed with round one, but we’ve shown a real positive attitude to everything we’ve done since then.
“In our first few games we’ve played very different styles of opposition and Salford are very different opposition again.”
Salford have beaten Rhinos only five times in the summer era, but are on a two-game winning streak against Leeds.
They finished third last year and reached their first Grand Final, losing to St Helens. Several key players have moved on, including Man of Steel Jackson Hastings, but Agar warned: “They are a very tough team, difficult to break down and while they’ve only got one win this year, even against St Helens, when the score blew out, I don’t think it would have given them too much cause for concern.
“It is a tough team and a tough place to go.”