Richard Agar picks out game changer as he confirms Leeds Rhinos injury blow

Richard Agar hailed Brad Dwyer’s influence as Leeds Rhinos came home strong to beat Hull FC 22-12 at the MKM Stadium.

The Rhinos spent the majority of the first half on the back foot but showed resilience to go into the break only 6-4 behind.

Dwyer was introduced in the early stages of the second period and had an immediate impact as he brought energy and urgency to proceedings.

The livewire hooker went over for Leeds’ opening try and the visitors did not look back, with further efforts from Richie Myler and Cameron Smith putting Agar’s side out of sight.

“It was a game of two halves for us,” said the Rhinos head coach.

“I thought first half we didn’t play controlled enough and made too many mistakes and gave away too many penalties. It left us defending our own line for long periods.

“You could make an argument to say we were lucky we weren’t further behind but I’d probably flip that and say we defended pretty well and had a couple of real one-on-one cold misses in there.

“But I thought we got back and scrambled tremendously well. Even the try I thought was a dead-set forward pass.

“Was that energy going to burn out of us for the second half or did we have enough in our legs to turn it around?

“I thought the injection of Brad Dwyer really helped us. When we look back we’ll see another couple of really, really clear opportunities to put more daylight in the game.

“The way we turned it around was really, really good.”

Luke Gale started in the halves in the first game since he was stripped of the captaincy for disciplinary reasons.

The 33-year-old made a nervy start but grew into the contest and helped Leeds to a vital win that heaps more pressure on sixth-placed Hull KR.

“He’s been great all week,” said Agar.

“We’ve had a really good strong working relationship for a long time. It’s been difficult for me and difficult for him.

“As a club and as a team we try uphold standards and we feel he wavered from that.

“But he’s had a good week and had a good performance tonight, really good.

Leeds' Konrad Hurrell and Rhyse Martin celebrate victory over Hull FC.
Leeds’ Konrad Hurrell and Rhyse Martin celebrate victory over Hull FC.

“I understand all the speculation but it happened, we dealt with it and we’re getting on with it.

“We’ve a hell of a lot to play for this season and Luke is absolutely integral to that. If we’re going to do well, we need the best out of Luke.”

The win came at a cost with Alex Mellor left fearing an ACL injury after limping off just four minutes in.

“He’ll obviously get it all checked,” said Agar. “We’ll check both medial and cruciate out.

“He’s got a brace on his knee and heard it pop. Some of the testing he’s had suggests not only medial but he will need to get his cruciate looked at too.

“With cruciates, some aren’t as clear cut. Some can give the signs that he’s got an issue there but then the scans can tell you otherwise.

“Hopefully we can get him scanned tomorrow.”

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