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Agar praises young players

Leeds Rhinos Head Coach Richard Agar hailed the efforts of his youngsters tonight in their match against Catalans Dragons.

Agar named a weakened side, who were downed 34-6 by the Dragons at Emerald Headingley stadium.

However, despite the result, the Leeds Coach was proud of his players, believing they stood up well to a much more experienced Catalans team.

He said, “I thought we showed immense pride. Rugby is a tough game. In the end, you are looking for guys that want to front up and I thought we had a red hot crack tonight.

“We had a bunch of guys where a lot of them had not played since February/March time and that would be a big ask in any situation, especially on their debuts.

“I thought from start to finish, we had 17 players who absolutely gave everything.

“There was difference in class but there was certainly no difference in effort, desire, determination, reliance and grit or every other adjective you want to describe.

“The qualities you want in a rugby league player and I just thought we got it from start to finish in abundance tonight.”

Leeds will head into their Challenge Cup Semi-final this Saturday on the back of a defeat, meaning they drop to fourth place on points’ percentage whereas Catalans remain fifth.

However, Agar remains positive and not only did certain individuals catch his eye tonight but the Leeds boss pointed out that the final score was maybe an unfair reflection on the game.

He added, “I think what the players have learned tonight is the physical demands and the speed of the game. Although, there was no getting away from the rain as it probably took some speed out of the game.

“I would say that a lot of our younger guys making their debuts would come out of that game with a fair amount of confidence and the coach has as well.

“It is difficult for me to single individuals out. In a way, I am a little disappointed that there was not more parity on the score board because I felt the last couple of tries where a bit harsh on us.

“Then at the same time, from a physical perspective, we would expect us to fall away a bit at the end, given the preparation these guys have had for this game.”

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