Richard Agar heaped praise on in-form winger Jack Broadbent and his fellow youngsters as Leeds Rhinos moved closer to the top six in the Betfred Super League with a nine-try rout of bottom club Leigh Centurions.
Broadbent touched down twice in each half as Rhinos recovered from an early 6-0 deficit to register a third straight win, thrashing the Centurions 48-18.
The 19-year-old claimed his first Super League hat-trick in the mauling, but he could have been celebrating an even bigger haul having dropped the ball with the try-line at his mercy five minutes before his third touchdown.
“Jack should have had five and he knows that too,” Rhinos head coach Agar said. “But he is a super young professional and really adaptable for us this year. He has played full-back, centre and wing for us.
“He is a really good finisher. He has struck up a good combination with Tom Briscoe on that left-hand side and he is another kid we love having about.”
Tom Holroyd and Sam Walters, both 20, were also on the scoresheet for Leeds, while 17-year-old Morgan Gannon, 19-year-old Liam Tindall and Jarrod O’Connor, 20, played their parts in the win.
“What pleased me was the amount of young players coming in and growing with confidence,” said Agar, who was without a host of frontline stars, including Luke Gale (suspended), Richie Myler (injured) and Konrad Hurrell (concussed).
What pleased me was the amount of young players coming in and growing with confidence.
Leeds head coach Richard Agar
“We had three teenagers out there and the average age of side was under 23. Over the course of the evening we tried to play some really good football when we were in the right areas.
“That’s not easy when you haven’t had a spine operating together and you have young kids with not much experience under their belts playing in the middle for you.
“Leigh started really well with the shape they can throw at us. But after that we did a really good job.”
Centurions interim coach Kurt Haggerty, whose side took the lead but then saw James Bell handed a yellow card for tip tackling England prop Mikolaj Oledzki, has yet to see his side win in five games since replacing John Duffy.
“Once we had the sin-binning we never really recovered,” Haggerty said. “We were scratching at that point with 12 and when we went back to 13 there was too much for us to claw back.
“I have only seen it back once, but if you lift a leg you are going to be sin-binned. So, we have got to be better on that.
“We are not great at being in that cycle yet. Once we realise we can’t break them down and turn the ball over we have got to defend hard to get the ball back.”
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