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“I’ve given up” – Leeds Rhinos boss speaks out on ruck speed

Leeds Rhinos

For the second week in a row, Rohan Smith’s Leeds Rhinos side were second best as they took on St Helens.

After impressing in an 18-8 defeat to the Saints in Super League last week, this week the Rhinos were less impressive and lost 20-6 in the Challenge Cup. It is the fourth time in a row that Leeds have exited the cup at the first hurdle.

Speaking after the game, Smith was clear that his side weren’t at their best especially defensively.

“I thought we didn’t have enough intent with our defence early in the game and we were sort of on the back foot, but I thought system-wise we held together really well, didn’t allow many try scoring opportunities for the other team,” Smith said.

“At half time I thought obviously the scoreboard wasn’t a major concern at half time, it was more about improving some areas. Second half we had better intent. In the first 15-20 minutes I felt without probably knowing the exact timings. But I thought we were not where we needed to be clearly tonight.”

Leeds Rhinos boss speaks on ruck speed

Credit Imago Images

Throughout the game Leeds Rhinos players and their fans seemed to be frustrated by the ruck speed and this was also true of Smith.

When asked if he shared the frustrations about the ruck speed, Smith said: “I’ve given up talking about the referees and there was a concern, you know, in the pre-season there’d be a crackdown and there was and now people are back to rolling the ball through their legs.

“I don’t think we got a set restart in the game. If that rule exists, how is that, like, you know, offside matters sometimes, and then other times it doesn’t. It’s like a discretionary penalty all the time. I had concerns last week not just from our game but across the league.”

Leeds will now head over to Castleford Tigers for an Easter derby. Last year, a win over Leeds was the Tigers’ first of the season and that could very well be the case in 2024 with the set up being the same.

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