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Rohan Smith tells star man to rein in “shady offloads” as he explains call to take key men off

Last night Leeds Rhinos fans no doubt started to worry when two of their top outside backs left the field before the end of the game.

First Nene MacDonald, who has been playing on the wing for Leeds recently but wears the number four shirt, left the field.

He was later followed by centre Harry Newman. After Aidan Sezer’s injury, the only person remaining on the right edge who started the game was second-rower James McDonnell.

After the game, Rohan Smith explained the decision to take off MacDonald:

“He is okay, he had a bit of general tightness. He has been through a very hefty work load especially after last week and a short turn around so he had some tightness so we weren’t taking any risks there.”

He then went on to explain the situation with Harry Newman.

He revealed that he told the centre to rein in his shady offloads:

“Yeah similar. Harry, on a short turn around for a guy like him, maybe one too many shady offloads as well. He needs to rein things in a bit but I think he tried really hard again tonight.”

Asked about managing Newman’s style and the shady offloads, Smith further explained:

“I told him that, I took him off because the result had been decided and having him available next week after a short turnaround was important. He did throw a few shady offloads but that wasn’t the reason.”

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