GREEN shoots of recovery are starting to emerge for Leeds Rhinos but interim coach Richard Agar knows there is plenty more work to do when Wigan Warriors arrive at Emerald Headingley tonight.
Back-to-back Super League wins for the first time in more than a year is certainly encouraging given the travails Leeds have suffered of late.
On the back of victories over London Broncos and at Wakefield Trinity, they will look to now make that three.
Defending champions Wigan have been out of sorts themselves, dropping to eighth, just two places and two points above Rhinos.
But Agar warned: “They are strong and look very, very tough to break down.
“While results-wise you might think they have been patchy, I think performance-wise they haven’t been too far away.”
Agar fully expects Wigan – whose 19-18 Golden Point success at Hull KR on Sunday was a first win in four games – to test out his side’s right-edge especially with their England stand-off George Williams pulling the strings.
It has been a problem area for Leeds this term but England centre Kallum Watkins – having switched to second-row – and young centre Harry Newman impressed with their solidity when winning 10-0 at Wakefield.
“A lot of teams have been having a fair old crack at our right-side defence,” conceded Agar.
“But I thought we were better on that the other night and Kallum Watkins, playing in the second-row, put in a mammoth effort with the number of tackles he made and some very strong carries.
“With Sean O’Loughlin and George Williams in Wigan’s team we are expecting a fair bit of traffic coming that way.
“I think George, as an individual, is one of the most potent attacking players in the competition.
“He is right up there so we know we will have to be very good in that area and very strong against a tough pack of forwards.”
On Leeds’s development, he added: “The players care, are certainly determined to take steps in the right direction, put things right. That’s very visible.”