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Rohan Smith responds to suggestion he’s under pressure at Leeds Rhinos

Rohan Smith

Questions have been posed to Rohan Smith asking if he feels the pressure rising after Leeds Rhinos twice managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory against Huddersfield Giants last night, with the Rhinos ceding a ten-point or more lead on two occasions to register a fourth straight defeat at Headingley.

Leading 12-2 at the half and 24-12 with 15 minutes to go, the Rhinos would go on to lose 30-24 and boos rang out at the full-time hooter, something that head coach Rohan Smith suggested could have been the Headingley faithful “booing the ref too”.

The deciding blow for the Rhinos came five minutes from time with the score at 24-24 when Lachlan Miller was forced back over his goal-line and then boldly opted to kick short, inexcusably failing to make the ten metres which granted Huddersfield a penalty in front of the posts to go ahead.

Rohan Smith objected to the tackle that saw Miller forced into his in-goal area arguing that it was a “huge call” that went against the Rhinos, however, he did accept that the short kick was “an incorrect call”.

Is Rohan Smith under pressure at Leeds Rhinos?

Leeds Rhinos Rohan Smith

Credit: Imago Images

The defeat has added more pressure onto Smith with fans calling for his dismissal and post-match he was asked if he felt the loss added more pressure onto him, given the clear show of discontent by the Headingley crowd’s chorus of boos.

Smith answered to the press: “I’ve never considered that. They could have been booing the ref too

“I think the players put a lot of effort in there. They worked hard and did a lot of good stuff. We let ourselves down in some moments for sure and part of that was due to people playing out of position and whatnot.”

Leeds were forced to use players out of position due to the injuries to right edge players Harry Newman and David Fusitu’a, both men that Sky Sports’ pundit Jon Wilkin has lamented the efforts of.

Analysing the game, Wilkin argued: “I get that you’re injured, I just think it’s inexcusable not to get on the end of the line,” before adding: “I think you have a responsibility to commit if you’re on the field to do your job and those two players didn’t do the job.”

“Confident we’ll get a response” – Leeds Rhinos heading into ‘must-win’ territory

Leeds Rhinos

Credit: Imago Images

That defeat has taken the Rhinos to a record of four wins and four losses with fears already emerging about another trophy-less season being on the horizon.

Despite that being the view of many fans and pundits from the outside, Rohan Smith has maintained that there’s plenty of unity behind the scenes and he’s certain of a result next week.

“Those players and us as a staff are very well connected, we’re in it together. So, over the course of a very long season, we’re not in the worst position. We’d like to be in a better position for sure, but it’s a tight, hard competition.”

Leeds take on Hull FC next week in a potential ‘get-right’ game, something that St Helens did when facing the Black and Whites last night with a 58-0 win, and Rohan Smith is “confident” that his side will head there and play well.

“I’m confident we’ll get a good response next week and we’ll go to Hull and play well,” the Rhinos boss reacted.

“We need to see a response, get back to work and continue to work on our combinations and our execution defensively when we’re under pressure, which we’ll be sure to be at some stage in every game. So that’ll be for us to work on during the week and be better next week.”

If he doesn’t see a response and the Rhinos don’t get a result then it will undoubtedly raise more questions about the future of Rohan Smith at the Headingley club.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Robert Hagyard

    April 22, 2024 at 11:31 am

    Times up for Rohan Smith! personally no plan no structure! I’ve watched Leeds for over 45 years. He Smith! is not getting the best out of the talented squad we have at Leeds Rhinos. He been here for two years now, this is he’s team, Lachlan Miller, average player under five out of ten, same goes for Matt Frawley average again.
    We need a ball playing powerful eight, hard to find! Plus a out standing seven again, not easy to find.

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