BLAKE Austin has explained why ‘baggage’ under Richard Agar led to Leeds Rhinos’ dismal Super League form at the beginning of 2022.
Leeds lost seven of their first eight matches before Richard Agar was replaced by Jamie Jones-Buchanan and Austin believes there were some issues within the squad and Agar himself.
“We knew it had to turn at some point, it couldn’t continue as it was. I’m really thankful for Rich Agar, he’s the one who got me into the club,” Austin said on the Trot The Egg In podcast.
“I didn’t have too many issues with Rich, I think there was some baggage from before I got there with Rich and some of the boys but I didn’t have any issues with him.
“I was as confused as he was about why we weren’t going so well, especially with how we performed the year before, they got to within one game of a final.
“It got a bit much for Rich. He was like us, scratching his head and he decided it was best to step away.
“Jonesy (interim head coach Jamie Jones-Buchanan) had a crack and galvanised the group a little bit.
“He did what he’s good at and brought the boys together, he put some things in place and certainly got us to start turning the corner.”
Of course, new head coach Rohan Smith was able to turn that corner considerably as Leeds ended up reaching the Grand Final after an incredible upturn in form.