HE COULD barely walk, but powerful Tongan international centre Konrad Hurrell had little trouble running through Huddersfield Giants’ defence when Leeds Rhinos boosted their Super League survival hopes with a priceless 44-0 victory.
Hurrell’s brace of tries last Friday took his tally to four in Leeds’ last three games and 14 for the season. The marquee signing left the ground with a foot in a protective boot and interim-coach Richard Agar revealed he had to be persuaded to send him out for the second half.
“What made it even more special was the fact at half-time we weren’t sure he could continue,” said Agar of the three-quarter’s man of the match performance in a win which lifted Leeds to eighth in the table.
“He insisted he stayed on the field and five minutes into the second half I was berating the physio on the radio because it looked like he couldn’t move.
“The message I got back was ‘I am no good to walk on it, but I am all right when I have to run’.
“We said we are not going to argue with Konny and I am glad he overruled me and I left him on because he came up with a couple of magic pieces of play.”
Describing Hurrell as a “real handful”, Agar added: “He is very difficult to stop.
“His determination to get the job done and see it through was a real indication of where we are as a team.”
Hurrell’s winger Ash Handley also crossed twice and now has 17 tries to his name this year.
The England Knights prospect, who inherited Leeds’ number five jersey this year from Ryan Hall, made his 100th appearance in last week’s game and Agar described him as “truly outstanding”, alongside fellow winger Tom Briscoe and full-back Jack Walker.
“He is growing in stature and confidence within our team,” said Agar.
The success at Huddersfield was Leeds’ fifth win in 10 games since Agar took temporary charge in May. The club have yet to confirm if he will remain at the helm next year, or whether they are looking to bring in a long-term head coach.
“I am just taking it one game at a time,” insisted Agar. “I just want to get this job done and get enough wins so we are not going into the last game or two having to get results.”