Agar hopeful Sutcliffe will make transfer request U-turn

Leeds Rhinos head coach Richard Agar is still hopeful Liam Sutcliffe will stay with the club despite handing in a transfer request in July.

The 25-year-old remains a vital member of Agar’s squad and put in another solid display as the Rhinos produced a dominating 48-18 victory over Hull KR in the Challenge Cup.

Speaking after the game, Agar said: “It has always been the case that we have wanted Liam Sutcliffe to stay.

“For the past three weeks I think that Liam has played some really good football and done a great job in attack and defence.

“Centre is a position that he likes playing. We said to him all along that we do not want him to leave.

“Believe it or not, the fact that he has handed in a transfer request in has not left any situation between club, coach and player.

“We are very up front and honest with each other. There is not too much pressure on him from us.

“If a club comes in and makes an acceptable offer for him and he wants to go, we will listen to it but ultimately, he knows how we feel that we do not want him to leave and I hope at some point he changes his mind and commits to us for a little bit longer.”

Leeds victory this evening saw them progress to the semi-finals of the Challenge Cup as they hammered Tony Smith’s Hull KR for the second time this season.

It was a particularly pleasing first-half display from the Rhinos who led 30-0 at the break after a devastating first 20 minutes at the Totally Wicked Stadium.

Reflecting on the result, Agar was particularly pleased with how his team started the game and maintained a high level of performance up until the hour mark.

“Hull KR were tricky opponents heading into tonight’s match, but I thought for 60 minutes our application to nullifying their attack was very good,” said Agar.

Hooker Kruise Leeming scored two tries in the Rhinos win. Credit: News Images

“You could hear the talk and organisation from the stands. The offloads did not hurt us too much plus I thought we were really alert to their kicking game as well.

“At times I thought we were a little untidy. We conceded a sin-bin, then after that we lost an interchange through Ash Handley, which was just a precaution with his hamstring.

“We were not able to rotate as much as we would have liked to but all in all, given the problems Hull KR have been causing teams, we would have 100 percent settled for that half-time score and in the end, it was a job well done.”