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“I didn’t…” – Leeds Rhinos boss speaks on controversial Cam Smith ban

Super League head coach Rohan Smith has bemoaned the heavy use of the video referee in his team's pre-season game.

Leeds Rhinos boss Rohan Smith has spoken about the controversial charges his side picked up after their Rivals Round clash with Castleford Tigers last week.

The most controversial was the suspension of Cameron Smith for dangerous contact with footage being shared by the Rhinos which would suggest that Leeds have a decent chance at successfully appealing the case though that is not guaranteed.

Ahead of the appeal tonight, Smith had his say on the Leeds Rhinos skipper’s charge: “I didn’t notice it on the evening, but I appreciate the process of the Match Review Panel. The panel has to go through all sort of contact incidents during the game and see if they’re all fair game so we decided we thought there was a case to be heard for as far as downgrading goes so we’ll go through that process tonight.

“We go through process you know every charge we get to consider our options and have a look at previous charges and previous situations and get a bit of a feel for the situation. So, you know, we just sort of went through our regular due course to work out whether we thought there was a case for it and we thought there would be.

“As I said, during the game I didn’t really notice it and even in review I didn’t really I wasn’t sort of eye catching or draw my attention too much but you know having looked at it you know the match review panel have found a charge there and you know we think there’s a fair case to be downgraded.”

Leeds Rhinos skipper punished for prior record

Rohan Smith and new Leeds Rhinos captain Cam Smith.

Credit Imago Images

When asked about the “higher end of sanction” comments which accompanied the charge, the Leeds Rhinos boss explained how Smith was punished harsher due to his prior record:

“That reflects the previous record quite often, so if you’ve had a couple of other low grade charges they can accumulate so that instead of a fine it becomes a one-match ban. It was charged at a grade B so we believe there’s a case to downgrade to an A and in that case the punishment becomes different.”

Leeds will be hoping Smith’s appeal is successful because otherwise he will be one of three forwards set to miss the game against Warrington Wolves.

In terms of covering Smith, they do have an option in Jarrod O’Connor. On this, Smith said: “It’s one option I’m considering. Jarrod played a lot of 13 last week and he has done so in a couple of other games that we’ve done well in this year as well. So he adds that versatility to us and coverage and he’s got a great motor and team first mentality.

“So that’s one option but if he comes off the bench he’s likely to play in that 13 role as well as the game goes, whether it’s at the start or whether it’s later.”

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