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Leeds Rhinos boss repeats “frustration” with ruck speed after St Helens defeat

Leeds Rhinos Head Coach Rohan Smith has spoken a lot since his arrival in Super League about his rugby league philosophy as well as his opinion on ruck speed.

It is perhaps fair to say that Smith was disappointed by the use of the six again rule in 2023 and, despite a more positive start to 2024 in terms of the rule, Smith felt that this new approach was dissipated speaking about the rule after defeat to St Helens in the Challenge Cup.

Backing up what he said after the game, Smith said ahead of their game against Castleford Tigers: “Well I think the fans and the game itself spoke about wanting a quicker game and a more entertaining game. But in the end it’s about results so if the game’s slow then we’ll have to join it and slow it down.

“I also don’t know, I don’t know if Phil [Bentham] has started in his new role officially yet, so there may be some changes in the referees as we go under the new regime, but at the moment we need to join it.”

He went on to add: “We’re not looking for anything that we we don’t deserve but there was some some obvious flops and that impacted the game and the crowd of the ones that we see out and you can hear the frustration amongst the fans. But it is what it is, we’ve got to play the game as it’s as it’s adjudicated and we we’ve clearly got plenty of scope to improve our performance, irrelevant of the officiating.”

Leeds Rhinos boss has his say on Castleford

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

Credit Imago Images

Leeds Rhinos boss Smith also provided a look at Thursday’s opponents Castleford Tigers. He said: “I’ve watched all their games this year and they’ve competed really well in some of the games despite the scoreline and really challenged the opposition with some of their shapes and the plays that they’ve been putting on. It hasn’t all stuck for them but they’ve definitely challenged and stretched a lot of teams and the score definitely hasn’t been reflective of performance in lots of cases I think.

“So we’re prepared for a tough hard battle on a small pitch on a Thursday night and it’s probably be raining and all of that stuff so we know it’s going to be a rugged battle.”

On the atmosphere at the Jungle, he added: “Yeah I think everyone, I think the away players actually enjoy a bit of the banter and a bit of being under pressure and being close to the noise and that’s one of the real draw cards I guess in the English game is the crowd being right on top of the pitch and adding to the atmosphere so it’s something that we’ll embrace.”

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