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Proud Agar aiming to build as Leeds Rhinos finally mount a charge

Proud Agar aiming to build as Leeds Rhinos finally mount a charge

Interim Leeds coach Richard Agar paid tribute to his side's character after a 10-0 win over Wakefield to register back-to-back wins for the first time this season.

The Rhinos have endured a traumatic campaign after Dave Furner was sacked after just 14 games in charge, with Agar stepping in as caretaker.

But the former Hull FC and Wakefield boss has now presided over successive wins to boost Leeds' hopes of avoiding relegation.

Two penalties from Liam Sutcliffe put the visitors 4-0 up at half-time before Tonga full-back Tui Lolohea, a close-season signing from Wests Tigers, then struck with a fine long-range effort in the 54th minute.

That proved enough to see off Wakefield's challenge as the Rhinos produced their best defensive display of the season to secure the points in a rain-soaked
affair.

Agar said: "We've got to put it into perspective because some of the pressure that came our way in the first half was probably brought on by ourselves.

"But to focus on the positives, I'm just really proud of the effort and thought the commitment to each other defensively, even at times when we got broken, was superb.

"The accountability and discipline was great. It was always going to be a difficult night given the very, very tough conditions, so we always thought it was going to be a close game.

"I thought we had a couple more chances but as Wakefield always do, they came back and threw plenty at us.

"We've shown some frailties a number of times this year, so to come through it, and to nil any team, albeit in those conditions, against a fantastic team like Wakefield at home, hopefully we can draw a lot from that and get some steps on the back of what we did tonight."

Lolohea played due to rookie full-back Jack Walker's unavailability due to a
hamstring injury.

After his second-half score proved decisive, Agar added: "It was Tui's first game back after a month off with an ankle injury.

"We weren't expecting him to be firing on all cylinders but it was a big play."

Wakefield counterpart Chris Chester could not fault the commitment of his side but was left to rue injuries to second-rowers James Batchelor (hamstring) and Matty Ashurst (back).

Chester said: "I thought the performance was good but our execution was horrendous.

"We started the game really well and kicked really well but had some poor errors and ill discipline."

The second half came to life in the 54th minute when Wakefield forward Kelepi Tanginoa embarked on a surging run inside the right channel.

Almost inexplicably, his offload went straight into the arms of Lolohea who gleefully intercepted and showed impressive pace to saunter clear in the left corner.

Chester said: "The big turning point was when Kelepi went through but I thought he was outstanding tonight and played the 80 minutes."


Click here for more stories about Wakefield Trinity Wildcats

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Roosters coach Brian Smith looks on during the NRL trial match between the Canterbury Bulldogs and the Sydney Roosters at Belmore Sports Ground on February 12, 2012
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