Leeds Rhinos have taken a decisive step towards making the play-offs as they move into fifth position on the ladder – their highest position of the season.
It comes on the back of a hard fought win over Warrington in which Leeds were exhilarating in the first half but had to cling on in the second half.
Notorious for the expansive rugby Leeds have played under him as well as never being totally pleased with a win, Head Coach Rohan Smith allowed himself to enjoy tonight’s victory as he reflected on it after the game.
“I thought we defended our line extremely well for the whole game but I was particularly pleased when the scoreboard got tight and people kept doing their job,” Smith said.
“I’m probably know for focusing on what we can improve on and we will do that but at this time it’s time reflect and enjoy a good defensive performance.
“That roar at the end of the game, it gives me goose bumps thinking about. It summed up the appreciation.”
He did joke when asked about the table and being satisfied with taking Leeds from the bottom three into the top fifth that he had finally allowed himself to be satisfied for 20 minutes after the game.
He wasn’t satisfied with the second half in which Leeds let Warrington claw back from 24-6 down to 24-18 but he again praised his side’s defence: “Our attack was poor, we didn’t have possession and we turned it over too much. The opposition have a lot of quality players.
“They had a lot of possession, it was hard work. It was a critical moment there in the way we defended our tryline for a long period of time.
“Ash Handley passes it to Myler and it half opens up and then we turn it over again and we defend some more. Then Blake Austin goes through on a pass that’s not forward, he caught it behind him. That was another turning point which meant we had to defend some more but I was really pleased with the defensive connection.”
When asked if he ever doubted that the all important two points would come their way, Smith said: “No. We looked connected and cohesive. There’s a growing temperament in the group when the scoreboard or the clock says it’s close, they’re not letting that impact them.”