Richard Agar is adamant that injuries are not the sole reason behind Leeds’ difficult start to 2021.
Missing 10 players through injury and suspension against Huddersfield, the eight-time Super League champions had chances to record their second victory of the season, especially through Liam Sutcliffe, who succeeded with just one of his four drop goal attempts.
In their dramatic 14-13 defeat to West Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield, Agar was forced to pair Sutcliffe with orthodox hooker Kruise Leeming in the halves, the result of cross-code recruit Kyle Eastmond being ruled out following team run, around 24 hours before the game.
Despite falling just short at the John Smith’s Stadium, the Rhinos coach insists blame should not fall squarely on the shoulders of one individual, nor should it be attributed to their growing list of absentees.
Speaking after their latest defeat, he said: “I don’t want to be too hard on Liam [Sutcliffe] because I thought he was our best player. I thought he kicked the ball well all afternoon.
“I’d defy any team to have 10 players out and play your best rugby but, despite who is and who isn’t on the field, we had enough to win that game.
“I’m disappointed in the way we shot ourselves in the foot. I thought we were in a good position at half-time, but I can’t believe the quality that came out 10 minutes after the break.
“It was really poor from some of our experienced guys, who came up with so many errors.
“I can’t question the bulk of our side’s efforts but clearly we’ve got some players under-performing.”