Richard Agar angered by refereeing treatment

The Leeds boss could not hide his frustration at what he claims to have been a “reconnaissance” attack on two of his players’ ability to win penalties.

“I feel that, for 18 months, the referees have been doing their reconnaissance on Tom and Luke Briscoe and have come to the conclusion that they milk penalties because they got nothing tonight,” Agar stated.

“But, in my book when I watch them, they are strong carrying the ball and shrug people off – they are just not getting the leeway that their carries deserve.

“I was really disappointed with that tonight – it had no bearing on the result, but I’ve seen that now for a long time.”

Again, Agar could not hide his pride for his players in defeat, but knows his side needs to improve, regardless of the sidelined stars.

“I can’t question our effort and commitment, I thought it was top draw again.

“We talked after the weekend about being spirited in defeat and we can’t lose heart. When we’re playing as tough as we are, it will stand us in really good stead moving forward.

“But, we will look at tonight’s game and look at main points in both halves that turned the game. Whatever team I was putting on the park could have put more pressure on their line.

“There were little bits where we needed to be better. Jack Broadbent, for example, flicked out an intercept on tackle one, then Rhyse Martin didn’t find touch with a penalty and then we missed a tackle on Jackson Hastings.

“I felt we have to have a better standard than that and there’s no getting away from the fact that the team is lacking a spine and some cutting edge.

Upon making his competitive rugby league return for the first time in over a decade, Kyle Eastmond came in for praise from the Leeds head coach.

“I thought Kyle was solid and defensively he was outstanding – he pulled off some strong tackles and put his body in the way.

“I thought he read the game really well; it’s only natural at times that he struggled to find his way into the game with the ball, especially when we were playing a little frantic and disjointed at their end, but given the limited preparation he has had in our team, thats understandable.

“It would probably help him if we had recognised pivots and fullbacks around him too – he’ll get better in the long run.”

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