‘We’ve got a lot to play for’ – Leeds coach Richard Agar excited about run-in after Salford win

Richard Agar says it is all to play for in the race for the Super League play-offs after watching his Leeds Rhinos team beat Salford Red Devils 38-16 at Headingley.

The Rhinos went into the game on the back of successive defeats to Catalans Dragons but they were too good for Salford on Friday night.

The victory took Leeds’ win percentage to 50 per cent, putting the pressure on sixth-placed Hull KR ahead of their trip to Perpignan on Saturday.

“We’ve still got plenty to do but we’re a confident team that think we’ve got a lot to play for this season,” said Agar.

“We know we haven’t played our best rugby and know what our best rugby feels like.

“We’re looking forward to the rest of the season.”

Leeds took control early on against Salford, with tries from Harry Newman and Kruise Leeming calming any nerves after another disappointing second-half showing last time out.

The Rhinos were much improved after the break this week as they snuffed out any threat of a Red Devils comeback, although the visitors did score three consolation tries.

“I thought we had a really solid first-half performance and scored some great tries,” said Agar, whose team benefited from two Salford yellow cards in the second half.

“It was probably typified by Kruise a little bit. I thought Kruise was wonderful in some of the stuff he did and then undid some of it with some pretty uncharacteristic errors.

“At 20-0 I thought we were good value for it. I’m going to pay a bit of tribute to Salford. When they had 11 men they really moved the ball about on us well and played more expansively in the second half and asked us some questions.

“If we’re picking some disappointments, I thought the tries we let in were a bit soft and I still think we’ve got a way to go discipline-wise.

“But it’s a step in the right direction for us after last week.”

It was the first game at Headingley since the final coronavirus restrictions were lifted and the home fans generated a party atmosphere that lifted Agar’s side.

“I thought we had a good energy about us in the first half and I really think the crowd played their part in that,” said the Rhinos head coach.

Leeds Rhinos' Harry Newman celebrates scoring their first try
Leeds Rhinos’ Harry Newman celebrates scoring their first try

“We really, really buzzed up well, got good shoulder contact and looked to play when we had the ball.

“We fed off the energy the crowd gave us. You really miss it when it’s not there.”

Leeds went into the game without three players who were named in the original 21-man squad in Luke Gale, Mikolaj Oledzki and Tom Holroyd.

Agar was coy about their whereabouts but did confirm that Liam Sutcliffe failed a HIA at half-time.

“They were just ruled out and unavailable,” he said on the three absentees.

Source link