Leeds Rhinos head coach Richard Agar remains confident his side has what it takes to claim a Super League play-off spot.
Agar’s side lost their ninth game from 17 outings this season after Castleford Tigers beat them 32-18 at Emerald Headingley on Friday night.
The result was a blow to Leeds’ hopes of claiming a top-six finish with games beginning to run out.
Yet Agar feels there will be plenty more twists and turns in the coming weeks which could see his side squeeze into the end-of-season play-off lottery.
“I’ll probably see this weekend’s results first before I get a clearer picture on that,” said Agar.
“I am not even sure when the games are being played, so I’ll have a look after the weekend.
“There’s a lot of time left yet, but we will have to play better than we did on Friday against Castleford.
“We are kidding ourselves if we think that’s a performance that’s going to get us anywhere.”
Greg Eden scored twice to stick the knife in Leeds – and reignite Castleford’s play-off hopes.
The winger, making his first appearance since May, touched down in both halves as the Rhinos’ inconsistencies came back to haunt them again.
The men from Headingley have won a record eight Super League titles but their hopes of a top-six finish are slipping.
The Tigers had lost their last three games, including the Challenge Cup defeat to St Helens last month.
Yet they proved too good for their big-city neighbours and claimed only their second win in nine Super League games.
With key men such as first-choice props Mikolaj Oledzki and Matt Prior, along with scrum-half Luke Gale, absent against the Tigers, Leeds were some way below their best.
But Agar predicted they would come on strong when their squad returns to something approaching full strength.
“I think we’ve seen over the previous weeks we have got it in us and we’ve got some important players not on the field against Cas,” reasoned Agar.
“I think when you’re talking about play-offs, most teams will tell you that you need your better players on there at the right time of the year, in form, if you’re going to make an indentation on that.
“Unfortunately for us against Castleford, we missed some players, that’s for sure.”
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