LEEDS Rhinos head coach Richard Agar has demanded a “reaction and a response” from his side when they visit Huddersfield Giants tomorrow.
He was dismayed by the manner of Sunday’s 30-4 defeat to Hull FC labelling it the “most disappointing performance” since he took charge last May.
“I wouldn’t say we didn’t try but we worked nowhere near hard enough in certain areas of the game,” he said.
“I have always thought we are a difficult team to break down, but the manner of the tries we conceded in the first half was out-and-out soft.
“All games are tough at this stage and we’ve probably made it a little tougher for ourselves with the way we performed last week.
“It is important we show a reaction and a response from what was a very difficult and disappointing day for us all.”
Huddersfield, in contrast, head into the West Yorkshire derby on the back of a wonderful 32-12 victory in Perpignan.
That has done much to lift their belief that they will not be fighting relegation again this year.
Agar admitted: “They have started well.
“I’ve been talking to their coach, Simon Woolford, they got them in early for pre-season and I think you can tell.
“They got them in pretty much straight away on the back end of last season and you can tell they’ve come together well and been working for a while.
“From what I have seen, defensively there’s a lot of desire and hunger and they will have gained a lot of confidence from scoring 32 points away at Catalans.”
Australian scrum-half Aidan Sezer, their first ‘marquee’ signing from Canberra Raiders, has already made his mark.
“They have brought a high-profile half-back in who is very much controlling things,” added Agar,
“He has got a terrific kicking game and I think you can see a bit of what they have been working towards and what (rugby manager/head of youth) Andy Kelly has been behind.
“Some of the kids who’ve been in and out of the team are now starting to look really comfortable first-graders.”
Rhinos prop Ava Seumanufagai returns but captain Stevie Ward (concussion) is out so Rhyse Martin leads the team.