Rohan Smith addressed what went wrong for Leeds Rhinos after they were beaten by Leigh Leopards yesterday which after defeats to Hull KR and St Helens make it three in a row with the Rhinos’ play-off hopes slowly but surely eroding week to week.
It was a game Leeds needed to win and after a try from Jarrod O’Connor cancelled out a similar effort from opposite number Edwin Ipape with Rhyse Martin converting, the Rhinos led at the break but they were second best in the second 40 losing 13-6 in the end.
After the game, Smith said: “It was a good contest, tough physical game again we were there or there abouts.
“We were beaten in a couple of critical moments defensively but overall I thought our defence was excellent against a very good attacking team.
“We had some position ourselves but we probably didn’t execute as well as we would have liked and didn’t find the main road.
“I thought the rest of the game we struggled to get a roll on in the rest of the game.
“It was a good, hard and physical game and we had a lot of young kids playing in that game today that will be helped by a game like this. It will help them.
“But I can’t fault the effort from our guys today for sure. There were three or four players who were severely under the weather going into that game and they dug in and never hesitated and there were plenty of young kids so there was plenty to learn and plenty to be proud of.”
He was also asked about the decisions that led to the key points that extended Leigh’s lead from 10-6 to 13-6.
He said: “I thought both those were wrong decisions but they are fine lines and you would like to think that over the course of the season they balance themselves out but they were huge moments in the game.
“I only saw one replay of the Roberts tackle but the player reaction showed you. They are big moments but there were other big moments that we had control of.”
He also expressed surprise that O’Connor’s potential second try was denied as he looked to burrow over for a second.
The try was sent to the video ref as a try but the on field decision was over turned:
“Yeah for sure and it went up a try but I don’t spend much time looking at them but on TV there have been some where if you put it to a panel they might go the other way.
“I’m not sure on that one. It went up a try and most get given.”