Rohan Smith clears up strange substitution as he reveals player’s ‘frustration’

Rohan Smith has revealed that David Fusitu’a was frustrated to be taken off as he cleared up a strange incident in today’s defeat to Hull KR.

As Leeds Rhinos took to the field after halftime, David Fusitu’a, who started the game at right centre with Luis Roberts on the wing, took the wing spot with Rhyse Martin at centre.

However, before the first set of the half had ended, Roberts was back on and Fusitu’a was off.

One minute hadn’t even passed.

After the game, Smith explained why and noted that the winger’s frustrations were a good sign:

“We were talking at the end of halftime and he had a bit of a bump, that was his first game back so I took him off. He was quite frustrated with me at the end of the game, so I took that as a good sign that he wasn’t too busted.”

He was also asked about Ash Handley who was iced up: “There is heaps of blokes with ice, with dings and bruises, nothing that I am aware that is of concern.”

Both Handley and Fusitu’a started in the centres despite being wingers by trade. Of their performances, Smith said: “They both looked like centres to me.”

Smith will need them as he ruled out new signing Nene MacDonald for Round One.

He said: “No he won’t be ready for Round One.

“I think I have said the last few times when asked about Nene that he wouldn’t be ready for Round One.

“Maybe when it first happened there was a chance but most doctors say 12-14 weeks, it’s hard everyone heels differently.

“If there was one game left of the season then he would play, but it’s Round One.”

Smith confirmed that fellow outside back Derrell Olpherts should return to full training next week after battling illness recently.

Meanwhile, he explained that James McDonnell’s absence was down to illness as well saying that the former Wigan Warriors man would have happily played but had a fever.

He is the third player to miss out through illness this pre-season after Olpherts and Fusitu’a.

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