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Rohan Smith has his say on Steve McNamara’s decision to rest players against Wigan Warriors and reveals he doesn’t know his strongest team yet at Leeds Rhinos

With a place in the Super League semi-finals up for grabs, Leeds travel to Catalans Dragons after enduring a very different final week of the regular season.

Catalans secured their play-off spot with a win over Leeds on Bank Holiday Monday in their second meeting at the Stade Gilbert Brutus this season and now they’re set to host Leeds again.

They come into the game very fresh with most of their star players not having played since that win over Leeds with Steve McNamara resting almost his entire team for the trip to Wigan last Friday.

The Rhinos meanwhile endured a do or die battle with Castleford for the last play-off spot which the Rhinos won in the last play of the game capping off a thrilling end to the season for the Rhinos in which most games have been must wins.

So, very different preparations for both teams but when we asked Leeds boss Rohan Smith which he’d prefer this week he wasn’t interesting in ‘speculating.’

He did however say he understood McNamara’s decision to rest so many players and noted he’d have done the same: “I understand why they did what they did and in a similar position I’d have done what they did but it doesn’t always work, resting players doesn’t always have the benefit. We can’t worry what their prep has been we’ve just got to have as much energy as we can on Friday night.”

Leeds have done it tough in terms of personnel all season and it doesn’t get any easier with the Rhinos losing Ash Handley to injury and Rhyse Martin to a controversial ban this week.

So, it’ll be a case of chop and change again for Smith who told us that he still doesn’t know what his best team is: “No, I don’t know what my best team is. You’d have thought after 16 rounds you’d be close to knowing what your best team might be but I don’t. But I also see it as maybe a long term benefit to the club that we’ve had a good look at so many different players.

“Short term it probably hasn’t helped our cohesion but long term it may reap the rewards.”

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