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Ex-Super League official left baffled by Leeds Rhinos’ salary cap

Despite a brilliant win over Catalans Dragons last week, tonight Leeds Rhinos produced what Jon Wilkin has described as a “flat” performance as they lost to Hull KR in the rain with Jordan Abdull kicking the Rhinos to death.

But how did Leeds boss Rohan Smith see it?

He explained what went wrong for his side on Sky Sports:

“They kicked well in the first half in awfully difficult conditions. It was one of those days when you needed some bounces to go your way and they didn’t.

“It wasn’t through lack of effort, we defended our line exceptionally well except for some kicks.”

It was these kicks that made it so tough for Leeds’ back three including debutant Luke Hooley at fullback but especially Derrell Olpherts on the wing.

This led to Sky Sports commentator Stuart Pyke suggesting he needed to go off:

“Is it time for Rohan Smith to take him out of the firing line?”

Despite this Olpherts’ tackle on Louis Senior saved Leeds from conceding a third try.

Terry O’Connor was more focused on praising Abdull’s kicking game saying:

“You have to give credit to Jordan Abdull, it is a masterclass. The kicking from Jordan Abdull is as good as you will see.”

This sparked a wider debate about the backs Leeds have let go recently including former Man of Steel winning fullback Zak Hardaker.

Speaking on social media, former Super League referee Richard Silverwood questioned Leeds recruitment suggesting that the Rhinos must have some players on big salaries:

“Who is to blame, Gary or Rohan? Briscoe, Hardaker, Broadbent and Sutcliffe let go, replaced by championship players. Said it before, Leeds must have so players on massive Salaries.”

This comes in a week where Hardaker himself said that Leeds’ salary cap is “all over the place” on the Fully Game YouTube channel as he explained his Headingley exit.

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