No time to sulk says Leeds Rhinos coach Agar with Wakefield rematch in three days’ time

COACH RICHARD Agar insists Leeds Rhinos “won’t sulk” over tonight’s heavy loss to Wakefield Trinity.

By Peter Smith
Thursday, 29th October 2020, 9:23 pm
Tonight just wasn't Leeds Rhinos' night against neighbours Wakefield Trinity in St Helens. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe/JPIMedia.
Tonight just wasn't Leeds Rhinos' night against neighbours Wakefield Trinity in St Helens. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe/JPIMedia.

Rhinos’ third game in seven days ended in a comprehensive 30-6 defeat which left their top-four hopes hanging in the balance. But Agar insisted they will remain positive - and stressed he can’t be too hard on his team following their recent fixture pile-up either side of their Coral Challenge Cup final win. Rhinos visit Mobile Rocket Stadium, Belle Vue, in three days’ time for a rematch and Agar said: “We will come up with a better display and we have an opportunity to claw some of it back on Sunday.

“Credit to Wakefield; I thought they scored some really good tries and defended with energy when they had to.

“We aren’t going to sulk too much, we have got a positive group of people.

Leeds Rhinos coach, Richard Agar. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe/JPIMedia.

“We know where we’ve gone wrong and we’ve just got to get yourselves up for it at the weekend.”

Rhinos were without four players who were stood down after Monday’s opponents Castleford Tigers reported 13 positive tests for Covid-19.

Leeds have not named the players concerned, but Richie Myler, Konrad Hurrell, Tom Briscoe, Matt Prior and James Donaldson all missed yesterday’s game.

Agar added: “As disappointing as it is - and you look at the table and Wakefield are near the bottom and we are up battling for the play-offs - it is hard to be too disgruntled with them, because they are trying.

Wakefield Trinity coach, Chris Chester. Picture: Paul Currie/SWpix.com.

“I do know they care.”

Trinity were 20-0 ahead at half-time en-route to their third successive win, all in an eight-day period.

Agar reflected: “We tried really hard to get back into the game, but it was a night where I didn’t think we looked like we could find a way basically because we didn’t have enough energy in the tank throughout the course of the game.

“That is due to the schedule, not training and just playing.

“We lost four very good players on Wednesday and it goes without saying that is going to take something out of your team, but at the same time the first place we are going to look is at our own performance.”

Trinity coach Christ Chester felt his side’s performance was “full of energy, straight from the kick-off”.

He said: “I thought we started the game really strong and tough, our middles were outstanding.

“Tinirau Arona was the best middle on the field, closely matched by Dave Fifita and Kelepi Tanginoa.

“We were a team full of energy and we were always fairly confident with what we’d done in the first half we would get the result.”

Chester admitted Rhinos put his men under pressure for a spell in the second half, but said: “We kept coming up with answers in the way we defended our line.

“They threw a lot at us in the second half, so to only concede six points is pleasing.

“I thought our halves guided us around the field really well and we played without any fear.

“It is really pleasing, but the frustrating thing is the season’s kind of gone now and we are coming up with our best footy.

“There’s a lot of factors behind that.

“It’s no coincidence the last two weeks have been our best training-wise, when nobody’s had to stand down through Covid and we have got our best players out on the field.

“We know we can beat anybody on our day when we’ve got our best players out there. We had our best players out on the field tonight.”