Coming out a classic Challenge Cup clash between Leeds Rhinos and Wigan Warriors, all the talk centred on Harry Newman after he decided not to pass to Richie Myler as Leeds chased a potential game winning try.
Now Rohan Smith has had his final say on the matter.
Speaking to the press today, Smith praised Wigan fullback Bevan French for how he dealt with the situation:
“Bevan French was very clever with what he did. And you know, we as coaches, you know, me in particular, have spoken to players about, not just in this game, but in lots of games, some players have the appetite and the ability to disrupt plays, whether fullback or players on the end of the line by taking intercepts, and he’s certainly one of them.
“So in the back of players’ minds in those situations are sometimes not forcing it, not overplaying it.
“We can always maybe get them on the next play if we don’t get them on that one. So clearly he’d like a different decision if he had his time again.
“But Bevin French played a big part in that. Everyone’s looking at Harry and should he have passed or not. But Bevin French should be commended for the skill and the awareness to make it a difficult decision.
“That’s a lesson that all full-backs can learn I guess, isn’t it? It’s a clever play. He’s a clever, extremely instinctive and aware player, like you know, among the elite in this competition for sure. So you know, those things happen.”
Asked if he spoke to Newman after the game, Smith said:
“I spoke to the whole group after the game about it’s never one play. There were so many incidents during the game and even after that incident, there’s time on the clock for us to still do something about it or had we have scored there’s still time for Wigan to do something about it.
“So it’s never down to one play. Harry was very disappointed, he wants to win but he’s handled it, he’s been accountable for his decision but he’s moving on, he’s training well this week, he’s in good spirits and that’s just how it goes sometimes, that’s how it rolls.”