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“Bad message” – Tony Smith hits back at suggestions Rohan Smith should be sacked by Leeds Rhinos

Leeds Rhinos suffered one of their worst defeats of the season earlier, losing 18-10 away at Hull FC. Coming into the game off the back of a home win against Castleford Tigers, Leeds lacked commitment in defence and cohesion in attack as they meekly surrendered against the Black and Whites.

In the immediate aftermath of the game, Leeds’ Chief Executive, Gary Hetherington, was seen going into the Leeds dressing room, as the Leeds squad locked themselves in the room after the game. Head Coach, Rohan Smith, eventually emerged to face the media after a longer-than-usual delay.

Smith’s uncle, former Leeds and Hull Head Coach, Tony Smith, was part of the Sky Sports team which was covering the game. Speaking after the game, Tony Smith gave his opinion on whether it was right that Rohan Smith faced pressure on his position.

Leeds host the Leigh Leopards in their next home game in what is now a must-win game if they wish to remain in the playoff picture.

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Tony Smith believes Leeds Rhinos would send “bad message” by sacking Rohan Smith

Leeds Rhinos

Credit: Imago Images

New Director, Ian Blease, begins work at the Rhinos formally on Monday, and the topic of Smith’s future at the club will now be the most urgent priority in his inbox. Having invested heavily in the summer, Leeds sit outside of the top six in Super League after more than half of the season.

Asked whether he believed the walls were closing in on nephew, Rohan, Tony Smith disagreed. He believes Leeds need to stick with the under-fire coach in order to build a winning culture at the club.

“No, I don’t understand that they are. We’re speculating. All I would hope is that everybody’s coming together when it gets a bit tough. That’s not how it works though, Tony. It didn’t work for you here. It was getting tough here.

“But if you want to build something and you want to build something really good and strong, you come together during the tough times. But that doesn’t happen in sports. It does, it does. And the clubs that do it well usually come through the tough stuff and build something really good, unless we succumb to the pressure.

“Anything that’s worthwhile goes through some tough periods and it isn’t all, you know, roses all the way through. That’s how you build culture, coming through tough times.

“If you say we’re going to change things every time it gets tough. It’s a bad message to send and it’s a bad culture to produce.”

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. John

    June 16, 2024 at 10:19 pm

    This is absolute drivel. As inspirational and insightful as some of his pre and post match interviews.
    Could anyone who listened to this or has read the above ever contemplate putting this man in charge of a rugby team, or taking his advice on who should or should not be allowed more time – particularly when that person is his nephew.
    I honestly cannot understand what Sky where thinking of having him on pre-match. Was David Brent not available?

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