Rohan Smith praises two of Leeds Rhinos’ departing stars after win over Hull KR

Not only was Leeds’ win over Hull KR vital in their hunt for play-off rugby, but also demonstrated the Rhinos’ character.

Leeds were missing four players with bans as James Bentley was a late withdrawal through injury. Leeds then lost Bodene Thompson, Cameron Smith and Harry Newman to injuries in the game leaving them with one sub and even down a man when Mikolaj Oledzki was sin binned.

Despite this, the Rhinos held on for an important 28-20 win and after the game, Rohan Smith praised his side’s bravery inside what seemed like a storm: “It was a brave performance, we lost a few early in the week due to that stuff and we lost two forwards early in the game which makes it a real challenge and losing another as the game dug in.

“Everyone dug in and we found a way again. I thought we were pretty calm under all the chaos.”

He also dismissed the notion that Leeds started badly despite the Rhinos trailing 14-6 early on: “I didn’t think we started that badly, the scoreboard probably didn’t say so but I thought we still had decent control.

“That won’t be the last try Matt Parcell scores from a dummy, he’s made a career on that. I think we defended our line well. There were a couple of kicks which were particularly hard to defend and they scored and I know they all count as points but I don’t think we were playing that badly and we felt like if we maintained a level of possession we’d be able to trouble them.”

A lot has been made of Brad Dwyer recently. Smith revealed recently that Dwyer has not been given a new deal for next year and is set to leave Headingley despite some outstanding form which has seen him score against Toulouse, Wigan, Catalans and of course last night with a terrific solo try.

Playing well, his uncertain future isn’t having an impact on his form and after the game Smith praised the way he’s playing including last night with a try and an assist: “He’s playing really well, he’s taking his role really well whether on the bench or starting in his stride. He’s playing a good brand, a good style and he’s enjoying himself.”

He’s not the only departing star Smith praised last night with Muizz Mustapha having a huge impact on the game from the bench against a side he played for on loan last year.

Reportedly Castleford bound, he like Dwyer hasn’t been unsettled by his impending change of club and had a big impact on the game last night as Smith identified: “Really proud of Muizz Mustapha for an accident gone wrong and he used that time to work on his game. I was really proud of what he did against Wigan and he went to Bradford to play a bit last week and this week he had to step up big time and he did.

“I’m really proud of what he’s done and it shows the depth in this squad.”

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