Leeds Rhinos suffered a crucial defeat to Huddersfield Giants yesterday hurting their chances of competing with the likes of Warrington Wolves, Hull FC, Hull KR and Salford Red Devils in the play-off battle.
It was another game that raised questions about the use and implementation of the six again rule.
There were a number of crucial six agains awarded throughout the game and overall the ruck was a touch messy.
Smith raised this point as he questioned a number of key decisions:
“We let ourselves down a few moments there. One of those tries we conceded from a scrappy kick. We got people walking in the background which was one try, bounce pass in the other corner is a bit unfortunate.
“Then there was a play where he looked like he was held. Maybe he was, maybe he wasn’t. So chasing points is difficult in games where the ruck was all over the place and some critical moments in the game were influenced.
“Even at the back end there, we’re chasing the game and the player that doesn’t get to his feet laying on the ground, ends up retrieving our offload when we’re right in front of the post.
“There’s also a stoppage of play when we’ve made a break and we’re about to score on the next play, and we have a two minute stoppage, five minute stoppage, and then the player passes his HIA.”
Smith was asked more on the point of the ruck speed after saying it “influenced” the game and called it a lucky dip as he spoke about prior talks with the RFL about the rule.
“They’ve acknowledged that there needs to be a shift, but that was in round eight at the coaches’ meeting, so they’re just going to wait until maybe the pre-season to start getting the player to play the ball properly, to get to his feet and imitate putting his foot on the ball, which allows then the markers a chance to get square.
“It’s just a complete lucky dip. I see other coaches’ press conferences. They’re all guessing the same guess.”