Leeds Rhinos: Kruise Leeming’s View From The Pitch

IT HAS been an eventful few days and I would like to start by thanking Richard Agar for what he has done for us as a club and a team.

By Kruise Leeming
Wednesday, 23rd March 2022, 10:23 am

Some things come to an end and Monday was a sad day when he stepped down as coach.

It is never nice to see anyone lose their job and Rich helped a lot of us and signed a lot of us and got us to where we are today.

He signed me for Leeds and I will be forever thankful for that, but we have only had one win this year, we are at the wrong end of the table and something did have to change.

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Leeds Rhinos' interim head coach Jamie Jones-Buchanan will be a welcome 'new voice' for some players acknowledges club captain Kruise Leeming. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.

Unfortunately, the buck stops with the coach, but I 100 per cent don’t believe the situation we are in and the disappointing results and performances we’ve had were entirely his fault.

Some of the players have to answer for some of what has been going wrong because we are the ones who go out on the field and we are definitely under-performing as a team.

The coach has a big impact but he is not on the field with his boots on playing in matches.

We are and we have all got some responsibility to take.

Challenge Cup-winning coach Richard Agar stepped down from his role at Leeds Rhinos on Monday following a poor start to Super League 2022. Picture: Mike Egerton/PA Wire.

Jamie Jones-Buchanan took his first training session as interim-coach on Tuesday and it went really well.

JJB is very passionate; he will tell you himself he supported the club from when he was very young and when he does something, you know it is coming from the right place.

He just wants to do really well. Sometimes that’s what you need in situations like this, some enthusiasm and someone to come in and give you a new voice.

He is still very young in his coaching career and I’m sure he’s learning all the time but, at the moment, we need some help, he has stepped in and I think he is going to be great for us.

Head coach Lee Radford whose Castleford Tigers side face Leds Rhinos in the Challenge Cup this weekend. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.

Hopefully we can give him a bit of a reaction and get some wins on the board.

We have got a talented team and it’s about getting the best out of us all.

Maybe some people needed Rich to go and a new voice to come in.

That’s definitely not the case with me; I pride myself on how I play and I am judged on my performances.

Whatever the circumstances, I go out and try my best and I feel like I have been doing that this year but, if there was anybody who needed a change of voice, they’ve got that now and there’s no more excuses.

The best way for us to approach the next few weeks is by going game to game.

I always say every game is important but it is definitely a big one on Saturday, at home to Castleford in the Challenge Cup. It is a different competition, we’ve got a new coach and it is on the BBC, so there’s lots of reasons to do well. I think it has come at the right time for us because the big, pressure matches are what we need.

We would not have wanted to be in this situation but, with where we are, every game is a must-win now.

If you can’t get up for these games - at training during the week and on match day - you are in the wrong sport.

Games against Cas are always extra-special because of the local rivalry. They have had a slow start to the season but I think, head-space wise, they are in a bit better position than us.

I think they will feel like they are on the rise, with how they are playing.

They have had a few injuries and people missing, like us, but they’ve got a new coach in Lee Radford, with new philosophies and they will be thinking they are heading in the right direction.

They had a good win over Hull a few weeks ago and fought back really well at Wigan last Thursday, so we know it is going to be a tough game. Even though they are below us on the table, I think they will put themselves above us in terms of morale but we are at home and we want to give our fans something to celebrate and show we are a good team.

We need to bounce back from some poor performances and results and it is a massive game for us for a lot of reasons.

It is a good opportunity for us to show we can stand up and come out swinging when our backs are against the wall.