October 30, 2020, 6:44

Super League’s Clash of the Coaches: Thursday’s talking points and team news

Super League’s Clash of the Coaches: Thursday’s talking points and team news

“I was really confident that we could come through, we just needed to get out fair share of field position.

“The boys have got a belief they’re not going to get beaten at the moment. They’re doing all of the little things that matter, they’re working hard for each other and that’s ultimately getting them the wins.”

Watson’s opposite number on Thursday evening is Luke Robinson, who is unbeaten in his first three matches as acting head coach of Huddersfield following the sudden departure of Simon Woolford.

The 36-year-old former Giants half-back, who got his first coaching role 15 years ago with his amateur club Siddal, has long been talked about as a potential Super League head coach and is so far doing no harm to his prospects of earning the job on a full-time basis.

Robinson is boosted by the return of stand-off Lee Gaskell after a two-month injury lay-off and he is set to return to the halves alongside the talismanic Aiden Sezer.

They are likely to be backed up by Olly Russell on the interchange bench and Robinson is impressed with how one of his former charges from the Giants youth set-up has been performing recently.

“He’s got a lovely kicking game, he’s got an old head on young shoulders and I thought he guided us around the field really well when he came on.”

Salford, meanwhile, are without experienced scrum-half Kevin Brown. However, Luke Yates returns after missing the Challenge Cup semi-final due to a ban with Ryan Lannon, Chris Atkin, Jack Ormondroyd and loan player Oliver Ashall-Bott back in the 21-man squad as well.

That means Black and Whites interim head coach Andy Last finds himself up against Richard Agar, the man he served as assistant to during Agar’s time in charge at the KCOM Stadium.

Last’s men go into this match on the back of a 32-28 win over Castleford last week which kept their slim hopes of making the play-offs alive, with the coach revealing the motivational tool he used to help his side in the build-up.

“During the week, I pulled out an old article written by Phil Gould from 2007 and it referred to the [Brisbane] Broncos who had just won the 2006 [NRL] Grand Final, but started that next season poorly,” Last said.

“They had to find their ‘grit’ again by hanging in there when you’re under pressure and I think that really struck a cord with the boys.

“It was an epic encounter with two busted teams desperate for a result without plenty of their best players unavailable to them.”

The club are fighting it out for a place in the top four as well and Agar’s time in charge, having initially been thrust into the role on a temporary basis following David Furner’s departure last year, has led to a revival in Leeds’ fortunes.

It is the 48-year-old’s first head coaching role at club level since leaving Wakefield Trinity in 2014, having served on Warrington’s staff and then originally joined the Rhinos in a player and coach development role in the intervening years.

“I’m proud of the spirit we’ve developed as a team, challenging the benchmark teams time after time – and Leeds should do,” Agar said.

Sourse: skysports.com

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