Rohan Smith had something to smile about on Boxing Day after an up and down game against Wakefield Trinity and that was the performances of his young players.
After the game, Smith was asked about the likelihood of seeing these young players feature frequently in the new season.
Smith said: “Yeah, there’s a chance that they will and some of those kids are progressing at a good rate of nuts. I think the thing to understand, when they’re all out there playing today, at times against a very experienced team, I know they were without some of their key players and whatnot, so I’m not reading anything into the result, but they had some experienced players out there.
“We had heaps of young kids on at the same time. When you’re only putting one or two on in an experienced team, often a talented young kid can fit in quite easily.
“So that’ll be the plan if we can be fit and healthy, then when the kids need an opportunity, they’ll get one in a good team.”
Smith has always been a great people person and a developer of young players but sadly a former player of his Troy Dargan passed away on Christmas Eve following a motorcycle accident.
An emotional Smith paid tribute to Dargan and his family after the game:
“I just wouldn’t mind saying to people out there watching that that my thoughts are with everyone that sort of coached Troy Dargan and A lot of his teammates and stuff are probably suffering a little bit at the moment He’s one of the best young blokes I’ve ever come across in rugby league.
“So thoughts are anyone out there back home thinking of you. Yeah, I had a couple years with Troy, he was a Broncos contracted player He was allocated to play at Norse when I was coaching there. He’s a tremendous young bloke and well liked in every club as you can see from the tributes that have gone out to him.”
Serious About Rugby League echoes these sentiments. Our thoughts are also with David Fusitu’a’s family after he missed the game due to bereavement.