Leeds Rhinos defeated Warrington Wolves yesterday in a vital win as they battle Hull FC, Hull KR, Huddersfield Giants, Salford Red Devils and the Wolves themselves for a spot in the top six and the play-offs.
The Rhinos battled back from 16-12 to take a lead 24-16 thanks to a great try from Luke Hooley before a sensational offload from Nene MacDonald saw James Bentley get over the line for a try.
They then held on when Warrington made a late rally with Matt Dufty making a big error as he could have won the match with the line at their mercy.
Speaking on OurLeague after the game, Rohan Smith said:
“I’m really pleased with how we hung in there, it was a bit of a rollercoaster today for everyone that was here, but we showed some real grit and togetherness to hang in there enough.
“There’s a lot of spirit in that in that group. We’ve had a lot of disruptions this year but no one’s using any excuses, they’re just trying to do the best they can.
“We are together, we’re trying to do the best that we can. We’ve had a lot of close games this year which has probably put us in good stead for ones like that.
“We needed the result today as much as anything but it was a decent performance in lots of ways. Next week on to Huddersfield and that’s going to be a huge battle. We can’t look any further ahead than that.”
He also addressed any potential injuries: “No, nothing massive. A few bumps and bruises that were enough to bring people off. So we’ll have a look. We’re a little bit light on troops so it could be a great opportunity for some young guys, which I’m excited about as well.”
After the game, he also spoke to the press about the Matt Dufty moment and he felt it was justified as Leeds have faced some “average calls” this year.
“It all happened quickly. We were pretty well connected on their shift play and Stefan Ratchford finds that skilful kick inside.
“Matt Dufty is a poacher but we’ve had the ball bounce the other way plenty of times, average calls, so you think over the course of the year they scratch themselves out. It was probably hard to say who was the better team, but it was an exciting game for the people that were here riding the rollercoaster.”