Connect with us

Super League

Richard Agar gives injury update, praises returning duo and identifies youngster who could push for a place in Leeds’ strongest side

“Plenty of positives and plenty to build on” that was Richard Agar’s assessment after his Leeds side came away with a 30-12 win over Bradford this afternoon.

The Rhinos were somewhat sluggish in the first half and allowed Bradford to take a 12-0 lead which they held until the break.

However, a change of pace from the Rhinos turned the game on its head. Leeds began to play with greater energy around the ruck and caused Bradford endless problems.

The tone of the second 40 was set with a brilliant Alex Mellor try – created by Jarrod O’Connor who was surely a contender for Man of the Match – before a spectacular try from young Max Simpson in which he showed great pace to level matters.

Then tries from Liam Tindall, Kai Morgan and a second from Simpson rounded off a 30-12.

After the game, Agar was particularly pleased with how his young players adapted after a first half which didn’t go to plan: “I thought there were some real interesting stuff. First half I thought we were tackling alright but from an attacking point of view we were playing out the back and sideways and we needed to get direct. It looked too much like a team run, we had two points of attack and plenty of width but I think we needed to try and play through them a bit.

“We needed to change around and learn the lessons in the first half and we went out and threw a quick 18 points on them just by carrying hard and pushing up around the ball.

“From that point of view I think it was great, we listened, we adapted and we made the necessary changes to our mindset and came up with 30 unanswered points.”

Plenty of youngsters caught the eye with Simpson’s footwork for his first try a real highlight. Meanwhile, Jack Sinfield continued to impress with a fabulous cut out pass to create Tindall’s try before nailing a couple of conversions.

However, two players particularly impressed Agar with one potentially pushing for a place in Leeds’ first 13: “From the young kids there were some outstanding performers, I’ll mention Corey Johnson he’s shown tremendous leadership with this team and played 80 minutes in his first game back. I thought he was outstanding as was Jarrod O’Connor in his work-rate and strength.

“Johnson’s had a bit of a niggle coming from his back so we got that fixed up, but Corey’s a genuine contender to play first grade for us because he plays hooker, but he can play in the halves, he can play in the middle if you need him to. He’s the type of kid you could throw him in any position and he’s that smart he’d do a good job.

“I think he’s shown today what a really capable rugby league player he is.”

Another important thing for Leeds today was getting minutes into the legs of Liam Sutcliffe and Jack Walker after long term injuries. Agar was pleased with both and noted that they came through without further injury: “We planned to get them off at halftime but the way the first half went I thought we could get a little more out of them. They got through unscathed. Liam got plenty of touches of the ball and Jack, after a difficult start, found his feet early in the second half. Really happy with their contributions and to give them some game time and we hope to give them some more next week against Hull.”

Agar confirmed that within their squad there’s only one injury concern with Tom Holroyd confirmed as out for 12 weeks whilst Cameron Smith is said to be fine after an eye injury last week. However, there will be a wait on Sam Walters after he went off today with what Agar confirmed to be a shoulder injury.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Must See

More in Super League