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Former Leeds Rhinos man reveals why Rohan Smith is struggling

Leeds Rhinos head coach Rohan Smith

Former Leeds Rhinos man Blake Austin has given his opinion on why head coach Rohan Smith has been struggling this season.

The Rhinos haven’t lived up to expectations this season, despite big signings ahead of the beginning of the campaign.

This has led some to suggest that Rohan Smith could be the next Super League head coach to head out of the door, following his uncle Tony who was dismissed from his Hull FC role earlier this season.

Blake Austin, who played in the halves for Leeds in the 2022 and 2023 seasons, has revealed the reasons that he believes are the problems for Smith and his side.

Speaking in an Instagram post from his own account, he suggested that one of his successors, Brodie Croft, is finding it hard to adjust.

He said: “I think Brodie Croft is struggling a little bit. I think he’s having a lot of similar issues to what Aiden [Sezer] was having last year.

“I think Aiden and Brodie are both 80-85kg halfbacks that base their game around a lot of their skill. Rohan loves running halves.

“Matt Frawley, although he throws a dummy every now and then, is not a running half either.”

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Leeds Rhinos struggles, continued

Leeds Rhinos head coach Rohan Smith

Credit: Imago Images

He continued to explain Smith’s idea on how he wants half-backs to operate: “Last year he wanted me to get heavily involved, and I can float in and out of matches, so I was all for the idea.

“What he expects from his halves is to run the 40. He wants his halves running through brick walls.

“Someone like Aiden, and the current halves, they’re sort of struggling with that philosophy.”

It might be that he improves his fortunes next year if he can bring some players that better suit his style, but this is the second season with a different type of half – if he wants to keep his job, he surely has to adapt.

Finally, Blake Austin said on Smith: “Lastly I just want to say, Rohan’s not the first coach who’s struggled in truth be told you know since David Furner.”

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