Richard Agar’s thoughts on Super League title charge after Leeds Rhinos winning run ends

Richard Agar believes Leeds Rhinos have shown all the signs of a side that will be in contention by the end of the season – if their run of bad luck comes to an end.

Agar watched on as his side’s four-match winning run came to a halt at the expense of league leaders Catalans, who have now won eight league games on the spin.

The Rhinos chief conceded that the gruelling schedule had proven a game too far as they conceded 18 unanswered second-half points, but still felt they could have won the game regardless.

But with the table looking healthier than it did at the start of the season, and key men returning to the field, Agar is confident.

“We just lost our way a little bit and lost our direction, but I would never doubt our spirit or commitment,” he said.

“I’ve said for a while, we’re going to need some troops back to make an imprint on the competition. That’s the long and short of it. If you’d put that team out at the start of the year and asked where that team would carry us, there would have been some question marks, I’m sure there would.

“But at the same time, we’ve got some young lads getting some exposure. It’s a test of character and resilience and I think we’re showing that despite not getting the result today.

“We’ll dust ourselves down, re-energise ourselves, get some decent rest between games, get some quality players back – we’ve had great news about Harry Newman. Tetevano is around the corner, Oledzki isn’t going to be too long.

“At the same time, there were a couple of real poor elements to our play. We just couldn’t break that cycle, we couldn’t get the energy or field position to get us back into that game.”

He continued: “There’s a belief in that changing room that we can (challenge at the end of the year). But we’re going to need our luck to change a little bit and we are going to need some continuity, a consistent line-up and our better players on the field. I think if you look around the competition, it’s the teams that are doing that and had a good season and less disrupted by things that can disrupt you.

“We’re quite undeterred, it’s about getting in the six and as high up in the six as we can. But I think there have been enough signs that we can do that.

“Tonight might have been a bit of a bridge too far with the lineup we had out and the energy we had in the tank, but I don’t think I’ve got a bunch of blokes in there that doesn’t believe, in fact I know I don’t.”

Still, the club is dealing with setbacks. Ash Handley and Mikolaj Oledzki missed the game through track and trace and are awaiting the results of a PCR test.

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