Though Rohan Smith will have been delighted with a dramatic win over a top team, Smith wasn’t totally happy with his side’s performance as they again did things the tough way.
Despite that, the Leeds boss felt his side were again brave and defended well as he reflected on the performance after the game: “Another brave performance, we defended really well. Played with 12 men for 20 minutes and a couple of injuries anticipated with the frequency of fixtures.
“We defended well and we were reasonably calm but the attack was a complete mess again.
“We had the ball but we just couldn’t finish enough sets. We didn’t have position rather than possession.
“We found ways to win defensively for a good few weeks. Our attack hasn’t been fluent. We haven’t had a consistent team.
“You can see everyone telling each other to calm down but it’s no use when you’re playing loose.
“The great thing is the togetherness to hang in there. I’d say the better team still won tonight.”
Of course, the match was an up and down one for both sides as four yellow cards were shown disrupting the flow of the contest.
On these yellow cards, Smith believed that none of them deserved such punishment: “I’m relatively new here, I’m not sure what’s acceptable as far as comments go that get adjudicated by other people.
“I’m not a big fan of people being sin binned in general. If it’s a clear cut obvious case then yeah but I wouldn’t have seen any of the sin bins tonight were necessary but I’m sure that the powers at be will give me a call if they’re interested in my opinion.”
That said, he felt that the decisive yellow – the one shown to Chris Hill which gave Leeds the position for the winning try – was at least a penalty despite some claims that Richie Myler brought the penalty on himself: “Looked like it should’ve been a penalty. That would have been fine I reckon.”
Smith was more happy to focus on the winning try which came from one of the four players to pick up yellows last night In Blake Austin: “It was a huge play. Brad [Dwyer] went the right way, he felt a bit of space there and it sort of closed down.
“Blake just used his instincts and Brad found him. It was clearly a big play to get the win.”
It was another must win game for the Rhinos and another Smith’s side won, but he joked after the game that every game has been must win since his arrival when asked about this recent run of big games.
“Recently?,” Smith joked, “Not trying to be smart, every game is you’ve got to win it and that’s what comes with being with this club.
“We need to improve drastically in the trip to France.”
There were returns for both skipper Kruise Leeming tonight and the experienced Tom Briscoe who played a key role owing to Liam Sutcliffe’s early injury and he did a terrific job as Smith noted.
“Yeah he did a great job,” Smith said, “He hasn’t played since April a big time out even for an experienced player. We anticipated using him but didn’t have a strict plan about when it would be.
“The last month he’s really trained hard and he wants to be competing and back in the team. He stood up well.”
He came on for the aforementioned Sutcliffe and Smith is hopeful that it could just be a bang for the Hull bound centre: “I’m not sure about the diagnosis with Sutcliffe. He’s got a bang on his knee, clearly he was hampered. Hopefully it’s one that’ll settle down.”
He also revealed that things weren’t two serious for the other player Leeds lost in Morgan Gannon: “He had multiple bangs and things, I think it was ribs in the end. He was almost due to have a breather, he got hit hard there as he ran a lead line. It was the right time to take him off.”