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19th October 2020, 13:35 | ChallengeCup

Richard Agar discusses personal pride

Richard Agar discusses personal pride

Agar guided Leeds Rhinos to Coral Challenge Cup victory

Since arriving at Leeds Rhinos last season, Head Coach Richard Agar has spearheaded an upturn in fortunes at Leeds which culminated with a Coral Challenge Cup Final victory this weekend at Wembley Stadium.

Leeds beat Salford Red Devils 17-16 in dramatic fashion thanks to a Luke Gale drop-goal with less than five minutes remaining. 

For Agar, there was a lot of personal pride following full-time as he and his father Allan Agar have now both coached sides to a Challenge Cup victory; becoming the first ever father-son duo to do so.

Agar said: “There is one thing I’m really proud of and it’s the fact myself and my father have become the first people to do this.

“From a little Rugby mad mining village, I think that’s a wonderful story and a wonderful story for our family. 

“I mentioned in the build-up to the week, it’s poignant to us. When Featherstone won in 1983 [coached by Allan Agar] my mother had cancer for 12 months and coming out to win that trophy and the Man of Steel like he did was at the time when my mother went into remission. 

“Subsequently, it came back to get her a few years later. You could see from a family point of view why I got a little bit emotional at the end of the game and why on a personal level it means that much.

“It’s nothing about proving myself as a Head Coach.

“There’s some family reasons in there and like I said to the players ‘they can never take this away from you’.” 

Agar discussed the game and felt his side controlled the first half but made things difficult for themselves after the break which led to the need for a late drop-goal to separate the sides. 

Agar said: “I thought we controlled the first half really well.

“I felt that there were times within that in which we didn’t quite get our finishes right – they run the length of the field on that kick return try. But I still felt that things were really going to plan in the first half.

“We knew they wouldn’t go away; they aren’t that kind of side. I think they’re an underestimated team, there’s a lot of experience in their team which people often overlook.

“We talked about things we needed to improve and then started the second half in terrible fashion and I never thought we quite got ourselves back into the game.

“There were a couple of times where we looked gone even in the final minute and half when the ball went over to [Krisnan] Inu.”