Leeds Rhinos produced a superb performance last night.
Granted it wasn’t the most exciting performance nor was it flawless, but it was tactically very smart as Leeds moved the Dragons around opening up space for them to eventually get the points on the board they needed to win.
Liam Sutcliffe scored a superb hat-trick as Zak Hardaker nailed four goals from four attempts as all 20 of Leeds’ points came from their centres.
After the game, Rohan Smith reflected on the performance and why it worked against the Dragons guiding Leeds to the Super League semi-finals.
“I thought it was a very controlled performance,” Smith said, “We went about playing a bit of footy and trying to pull them apart a little bit.
“I was a bit disappointed when the Sezer one went no try in the first half, I thought it was a try. But we played with good control in the first half, an unbelievable amount of stoppages again. We’ve been to France four times and they’re the four slowest games of the year.
“We really held our nerve in the second half, very calm, very composed despite all the chaos and we got through in the end without playing that well.”
You’ll have noticed there that Smith wasn’t best pleased with the stoppages and he even went on to note that the first half was nearly an hour long: “That’s a 58 minute half with no major injuries.”
To Smith’s credit, he was keen to discredit the idea that he was claiming this was a French tactic noting that he was merely noting that the four games Leeds have had in France have been the slowest his side have played this season.