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Rohan Smith explains surprise decision

One of Leeds Rhinos’ new signings has copped a bit of unfair stick recently in the shape of Derrell Olpherts.

His missed opportunity against his former club Castleford Tigers didn’t help matters and against Catalans Dragons he was moved to the bench.

But the winger came on and made a huge impact with some great carries as well as a well taken try in the Rhinos’ superb comeback.

Rohan Smith’s decision to move him to the bench moving Nene MacDonald to the wing and Rhyse Martin to centre was a surprise decision one that he explained after the game:

“As I’ve said I really like Rhyse as a centre and it made us a big team in those outside backs today which I thought was going to be key coming out of the corners, Catalans are very good at making you do that.

“Derrell has done well, he’s done a lot of really good things this year. He’s had a couple of moments he’d want back but he’s done really well, he had great energy today.

“That moment where Harry got sin binned I needed to make sure we had suitable edge coverage whilst we were a man short and that was a classy finish, a genuine outside back quality finish and a  big play in the game so I’m glad for Derrell. He’s made a great contribution to the start of our year.”

Smith also gave an update on his approach to the number nine role:

“I think we’ll keep playing Jarrod.

“Jarrod played really well. He had a couple of moments that he would like back, which is uncharacteristic on defensive movements.

“He brings energy and overall he’s just a great teammate, he wants to play for the other people, he wants to play for the name on the front of the jersey and not the name on the back.

“He’s selfless, he’s fit and he competes hard and he’s starting to trust himself and back himself a bit more.

“He’s a tremendous kid who’s got plenty to work on, and he’s got Corey Johnson right on his heels. Corey is a more natural dummy-half but those guys are good mates and they’ll want to challenge each other. I’m comfortable with where they’re at.

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