Rohan Smith reveals the unusual reason why David Fusitu’a missed Leeds Rhinos’ win over Catalans Dragons despite being fit

Rohan Smith’s Leeds Rhinos went to the south of France last week to play the Catalans Dragons.

Things looked dodgy for the good part of an hour with Leeds trailing 30-6 at one stage.

However, this Rhinos side is made of stern stuff under Smith and the West Yorkshire club mounted a sensational comeback to eventually run out 36-32 winners.

Missing from that game, however, was winger David Fusitu’a and now the Leeds boss has revealed why the Tonga international missed the game despite being fit.

“His wife is heavily pregnant and there were a few minor situations which meant he could have potentially missed the occasion,” Smith said.

“With the access being difficult to get home from Perpignan we didn’t take that risk.”

Fusitu’a is likely to play against the Salford Red Devils on Sunday afternoon in the race for the top six play-offs, but Blake Austin will be absent yet again with Smith confirming the halfback has not yet healed properly.

“It was a four to six week injury when it was scanned but he is still within the time frame,” Smith continued.

Leeds boss Smith has also enthused about the Salford team as a whole.

“Their biggest strength is the team and the belief in each other. They bring out the best in the individual and they work hard and scramble hard.

“They are a grade example of what a team is.”

The fixture against Salford will be one of the major games of the season as the hunt for a play-off spot continues.

Whilst Leeds sit one point behind the Red Devils, it’s all to play for as just three points separate Castleford Tigers in fifth and Leeds in ninth with just five games to go in the regular season.

Paul Rowley’s side have earned considerable raps in 2022, but it will remain to be seen whether or not the Rhinos can match them.

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