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Richard Agar slams Tetevano ban

Richard Agar has expressed his disappointment with the four-match ban handed to Zane Tetevano for a late tackle on Theo Fages.

The loose-forward hit the Saints halfback after the ball had been kicked and, whilst Agar had no qualms about the sending off, he feels that the length of ban is harsh.

“We’ve looked at a number of similar tackles and we’re disappointed – we understand why the legislation is there around hitting ball players late and in the back and creating those sort of whiplash injuries,” Agar stated.

“We get that and pleaded guilty, but I don’t want to say too much as we’re considering an appeal.

“I’m hugely disappointed with the grading and the fine and I look forward to every similar tackle being given the same attention this year.”

It’s a case of changing things around for the Leeds boss this weekend, with two out and one in following the loss against Saints.

“King Vuniyayawa will be out through concussion protocols and Zane obviously copped a four game suspension.

“Kyle (Eastmond) will be a part of our 17, but apart from that, we won’t have too many changes – just two out one in.”

Agar is confident that Eastmond will fit in well, but warns people not to put too much pressure on him before he’s even touched a ball.

“He’ll help us on the last tackle plays, it will be a different plan in that area of the game depending on the opposition.

“I just want him to feel his way back in; there’ll be a lot of eyeballs on him, but we are very relaxed and understanding of where he is at, at this moment in time.

“We have a lot of personnel in key positions missing, so it’s up to the rest of the guys to help him around the field in what will be his first rugby league game for 9 years.”

One star who will be missing for another few games is Luke Gale who sits out with a broken thumb, but Agar is confident that he will soon be welcoming back other injured stars.

“He’s in a splint so it’ll probably be another three-four week recovery from here.

“He can train and pass the ball so that’s a bit frustrating for him, but another whack on it could lead to him having to have surgery on it.

“We should have a number of players back in contention in the next few weeks, but we’re just seeing it as a wonderful opportunity for our young players to get some more experience.”

Despite suffering two losses in a row, the Leeds head coach does not believe that commitment or desire is missing.

“I don’t think we need pepping up; we are on the back of two defeats, but I don’t think you can look at our team and say it is lacking motivation, hunger or desire – I think we’ve got that in bucketloads at the moment.

“What we know is that the influx of young players, they always give you tonnes of energy and commitment and we’ve got that.

“We understand where we are at the moment, our normal style is a little bit different given the balance of our personnel, but i think it is important that we understand the strength of our team at present and what will be effective for us.”

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