Former commentator slams Rohan Smith for “self-serving excuse making”

Leeds Rhinos are in a battle with Warrington Wolves, Hull FC, Hull KR and Salford Red Devils for the final two play-off spots but a defeat to Huddersfield Giants hurt their chances of success.

The Rhinos lost 21-12 after giving themselves too much to do when they fell 16-0 behind but struck twice through Luke Hooley and Ash Handley.

There were a few controversial moments that Rohan Smith referenced after the game and chief among them was the drop goal that he felt missed:

“We let ourselves down in a few moments, but there’s a huge amount of spirit there in the second half I thought we’re trying to overcome absolutely everything,  including a drop goal that didn’t go through.

“The kicker and his mates are all laughing that it didn’t go through, they were getting ready for a twenty metre restart and seven tackles.

“Everybody has said it didn’t go through. Except the decision makers. A couple of players in the opposition said it missed by a couple of metres.

“Sometimes they’re difficult when you look over the goalpost and you’re not sure if it’s a high kick, but in the end we had opportunities, we had opportunities, but some days it’s hard to overcome all of those things.”

He was also unhappy with the ruck again:

“They’ve acknowledged that there needs to be a shift, but that was in round eight at the coaches’ meeting, so they’re just going to wait until maybe the pre-season to start getting the player to play the ball properly, to get to his feet and imitate putting his foot on the ball, which allows then the markers a chance to get square.

“It’s just a complete lucky dip. I see other coaches’ press conferences. They’re all guessing the same guess.”

These comments prompted former rugby league commentator Rod Studd slam Smith on social media:

“Yet more self serving excuse making from a losing coach.

“Rohan Smith’s 1.12 points per game tally would equate to 30’points in a 27 game SL season and a finish of around 5th. That’s not what the Leeds owners are paying for. Blaming match officials is a common tactic to divert attention from the above facts.”