Rohan Smith says Leeds Rhinos should have beaten Hull FC

On Friday night Leeds Rhinos succumbed to their second defeat to the start the season as they lost 22-18 to Hull FC.

It was the first time that coach Rohan Smith had lost at Headingley in a competitive fixture in charge of the Rhinos and it was a game they could have won as the Rhinos let a number of big opportunities slip such as breaks from Nene MacDonald, Cameron Smith and Ash Handley.

This led to Smith saying after that the game the Rhinos should have won and would have if their execution was better: “I thought our execution should have been better, if it was somewhat better the result goes our way, if it is a lot better the result is not in question.

“I didn’t know where we would be after two rounds, I’m not sure any coach would know where they would be after two rounds other than working hard and being in the scrap and trying to get a couple of results early on.”

Smith was also unhappy with some poor defence that cost Leeds the game:

“A couple of poor defensive lapses really cost in the game which we were punished for again but overall our defence looked largely in control.

“It takes some time to get your goal line defence really smooth, maybe smooth is not the right word. It takes time to find a way to execute, and keep the ball off the ground because ultimately you can have all the systems you want but it is the team with the best scramble that has the best defence at the end of the year regardless of system.

“It is system and effort that goes into it.

“As much as you train competitively, you don’t do full contact, full combat like a game there’s two points on the line.

“It takes some time to get up to speed. I have watched the NRL Trials and some top teams have been equally off.

“It is hard at this time of the year to have all systems go on every aspect. Last week we found a bit of grit in the second half, this week we found ruck speed and physical dominance but didn’t find the execution.

“Next week we will try to get a more complete performance.”

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