Phil Clarke says Leeds Rhinos star looked like he had “never played before”

Last night Leeds Rhinos had enough chances to win the game but squandered many of them as they lost to Hull FC 22-18.

The Rhinos made three sensational breaks in the second half. The first came from Nene MacDonald weaving through on his debut but he lost the ball.

Later Cameron Smith hit a lovely line from a Blake Austin ball to carve through but his pass to the supporting players was taken by Hull FC’s Cam Scott instead.

The last big chance again came from Austin as his ball over the top released Ash Handley. Handley tried to find Austin back inside in support but he knocked on.

These missed opportunities were widely considered to have cost the game for the Rhinos.

After the game, Sky Sports’ Phil Clarke certainly thought so and said of Cameron Smith when he made a break that he looked like he had never played rugby before.

“Well I think the passing accuracy, I don’t know what you would put it down to here. The clinical approach wasn’t there, that was a terrible pass from Cameron Smith,” Clarke said.

“He did some great things in the match but it was almost like he never played before or been in that situation.”

Looking at the Handley and Austin chance, Clarke said: “Who do you blame here? The pass or catch?”

Former Rhino Danny McGuire provided his answer saying Handley should have backed himself:

“The fullback does well there. For me, Ash Handley should back his speed and ability to go in and away there and use his pace.

“Another missed opportunity there from the Rhinos.”

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