Richard Agar admits ‘not enough energy in the tank’ as Leeds slump to defeat against Wakefield

Leeds coach Richard Agar admitted his side were low on energy as they crashed to a 30-6 derby defeat by Wakefield.The Challenge Cup winners were without four first-choice players who were forced to stand down through track and trace following a spate of positive Covid-19 tests at most recent opponents Castleford and they looked distinctly jaded in their seventh match in 27 days.

They trailed 20-0 at half-time and, although a fightback brought a try to winger Ash Handley, they conceded two to Wakefield winger Innes Senior in the last seven minutes after being reduced to 12 men through the sin-binning of Alex Mellor.

READ: Leeds 6-30 Wakefield: Max Jowitt hat-trick helps Trinity beat Rhinos

“In the second 20 we looked low on energy and that led to a couple of soft tries towards the end of the first half,” Agar said.

“I thought we tried hard to get back into the game but it was a night where we didn’t look like we could find a way. Basically there was not enough energy in the tank.

“That’s down to the schedule – we’re not training and just playing. We lost four players yesterday – and four very good players – and it goes without saying that takes something out of your team.”

The defeat was a blow to Leeds’ top-four hopes and Agar will now try to freshen up his side for a re-match with Trinity at Belle Vue on Sunday.

“We’ve got to be fairly honest with each other and find out who is in good enough condition to play,” he said. “We’ll come up with the best way.

“It’s a challenge and we knew it would be. We still have an opportunity to get through but we’re not going to make too much of a dent in the play-offs with a performance like that.”

 

Full-back Max Jowitt scored a first-half hat-trick as Wakefield continued their late-season surge with a third successive win.

Trinity have not looked back since being rocked by a newspaper allegation that coach Chris Chester was facing a dressing-room revolt but Chester says the return of influential players of the calibre of Jacob Miller and David Fifita has been key.

“It’s no coincidence we’re playing our best footy when we’ve our best people out on the pitch,” Chester said.

“The best weeks have been the last two weeks when we’ve had every single body back in training.

“We’ve had nine people stood down at various times and there have been occasions when we’ve only had 14 or 15 guys out on the training field.

“The guys have gone through the mill to make sure we try to fulfil every single fixture this year. All the players are united and together and we want to finish the season.

“That’s what makes it more frustrating, we know what these guys are capable of.

“It’s amazing what one win does to the group’s confidence, you saw that tonight with the free-flowing rugby.

“I thought the performance was full of energy straight from the kick-off and to concede only six points is really pleasing.”

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