Leeds took another gigantic step towards the play-offs today with a first win at Craven Park since 2018.
The Rhinos trailed 14-6 early on but scored 22 unanswered points to storm into a 28-14 lead. Though Sam Wood scored late on, the Rhinos held on for a 28-20 win which gives them a three point lead over the chasing pack in the race for sixth with Salford set to battle third place Huddersfield and Hull FC to host Champions St Helens over the weekend.
It was a difficult game for the Rhinos who showed great character to battle back and then hold on to the win despite missing four players through bans and without late withdrawal James Bentley.
Things only got worse when Bodene Thompson and Cameron Smith went to hospital early on but coach Rohan Smith praised his side for holding their nerve in what he described as “carnage.”
He told Sky Sports’ Jenna Brooks after the game: “It was carnage. We lost a bunch of players earlier in the week, a couple very early in the game.
“It was great spirit, we talk about winning different ways and showing great spirit. We had people who grit their teeth and were playing everywhere in that game.
“I thought we were always pretty much in control even though we had a rough start. Really proud.”
He tried to give an update on the duo who went to hospital as well as Harry Newman who picked up another hamstring injury tonight: “I haven’t had an update [on Thompson and Smith] but obviously anytime someone is going to hospital it’s never good so we’ll wait and see. Fingers crossed for them.
“Harry’s got a hamstring injury there, we’ll have to see how serious it is.”
He also praised his playing group refusing to take credit for Leeds’ turn around believing that the club was in a good shape before he arrived hinting praise the way of former boss Richard Agar who was the studio guest for Sky Sports: “They’re a good bunch of people and I knew that before I got here, I’d done my homework. They’re a good group, very receptive and it was left in pretty good hands.
“I know the season hadn’t started well but the group weren’t far away and I’ve run into it at the right time and the credit has to go to them and the work they’ve put in and finding different ways to win.”