Connect with us

Rugby League News

Rohan Smith bemoans “huge call” that cost Leeds Rhinos

Leeds Rhinos Rohan SMith

Leeds Rhinos head coach Rohan Smith has slammed the decision to award a goal-line drop-out in the closing stages of the game, which ultimately took the game away from his side. 

The incident occurred in the 75th minute, as Lachie Miller was dragged back over the goal-line. To make matters worse, the fullback then messed up the proceeding kick to gift Jake Connor an easy penalty goal to put Huddersfield two points up.

Speaking after the game, Leeds boss Smith said this was a ‘huge call’ that went against his team: “At 24-24, there’s another huge call that goes against us. When a player lends weight behind the ball carrier, that’s held; but it wasn’t.”

He added: “Then it led to a dropout, we should have kicked it long there, but we shouldn’t have had to kick a dropout.”

Whilst he felt the initial call went against his side, he also detailed Miller shouldn’t have attempted the short kick: “At 24 all, maybe if you have a great catcher or something ready to go, but I don’t think that was the right time for it.”

He added: “It’s an all-or-nothing play and it didn’t need to be at that point in time. But again, I think it’s an incorrect call that leads to that. In the end, you’ve got to play the cards you’ve been dealt and we didn’t quite play enough good hands tonight.”

Were the Rhinos wasteful?

The game could of, and probably should of, been put to bed by Leeds. They led 12-2 at half-time, and at one point in the second half led 24-12. Both of those 10+ points make this a bitter pill to swallow for the Rhinos boss.

“I thought we were the better team for more of the game than the other team,” he said. “The periods where they were good, they were certainly good against some disjointed combinations on the edge.”

He added: “I thought there was a lot to like, but obviously it’s a very hard one to take. There’s a lot of very disappointed people.”

This defeat leaves the Rhinos in a tricky spot. It’s their fourth home defeat in a row, and their fourth in five games in all competitions. It now also leaves them languishing in eighth place, and by the end of the weekend (results dependent)they could find themselves four points off the top four.

Leeds Rhinos suffer late collapse to lose fourth home game in a row: Full Report

Leeds Rhinos

Credit: IMAGO

Huddersfield Giants twice overturned a 10-point deficit to record a famous win over West Yorkshire rivals Leeds Rhinos.

Ian Watson’s men put on an attacking masterclass in the second-half to condemn Leeds Rhinos to a fourth straight home defeat, thanks to tries from Esan Marsters, Kevin Naiqama, Harvey Livett, Adam Swift and Elliot Wallis.

There was plenty of pressure on the Rhinos ahead of the game, but they made a bright start. A fantastic line from Mik Oledzki sliced open the Huddersfield defence, however, he couldn’t connect with Brodie Croft and the chance went begging.

Both teams went onto exchanges sets, with neither able to gain a foothold in the contest.

A wonderful solo run from Lachie Miller allowed Rhinos to gain the upper hand, and this eventually led to Paul Momirovski opening the scoring after he wrong-footed Elliot Wallis.

Leeds piled on the pressure after this, and created two clear-cut chances. The first came from a Momirovski line-break, and the second fell to Harry Newman; however they couldn’t deliver the killer blow.

Huddersfield came back strong though, and threatened the Leeds line. A sweeping move through the right edge found the ball in Wallis’ hands, but solid defence from opposite man Luis Roberts forced the former Castleford Tiger into touch.

Leeds gained a numerical advantage as Luke Yates was sent to the sin-bin, and they made it count as David Fusitu’a pounced on Brodie Croft’s stab kick for their second of the half.

With the clock winding down, Jake Connor knocked over a penalty goal to make it 12-2 at the break.

Huddersfield came out the traps flying in the second-half, scoring a quick fire double to pull level. The first fell to Esan Marsters, as he barrelled through three Leeds defenders to score. His effort was swiftly followed by Wallis, who reaped the rewards of a brilliant Adam Swift break.

This Giants joy was short lived though, as Leeds Rhinos hit back with a quick-fire double of their own.

Momirovski was the lucky recipient of the first try, after a well-worked move found him in space on the right wing. His effort was swiftly followed by Jarrod O’Connor, who cut a powerful line to slice open the Huddersfield Giants defence and dive under the sticks.

The scoring didn’t end there though, as Huddersfield scored three back-to-back tries, with Marsters and Swift again at the heart of it. A powerful surge from the Cook Island international saw him tackled inches from the line, allowing Swift to burrow over from dummy half.

The pair were at it again moments later, as the centre broke through the Leeds line. He connected with Swift, who in turn found Harvey Livett and he (quite literally) fell over the line to score.

His effort was swiftly followed by the third, as Kevin Naiqama crossed. A clever tap-back pass from the night’s pantomime villain Connor found the centre in space, and he raced home for the try. Connor was unable to convert any of the tries though, which kept the scores level.

A poorly executed goal-line dropout from Miller gifted Connor a penalty in front of the sticks, giving the Giants a two-point lead with just four minutes left.

With the clock winding down, Adam Clune put the final nail in the coffin for the Giants as he raced home after a clever Naiqama interception.

There would be one last thing for the Huddersfield Giants faithful to cheer, as Miller was sent to the sin-bin with eight seconds to go. Metaphorical, in a way.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Must See

More in Rugby League News