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“Sick of the disappointment” – Leeds Rhinos fans in meltdown after defeat

Leeds Rhinos

Leeds Rhinos put in another strange performance last night as they went from electric to pathetic to eventually lose to Huddersfield Giants 30-24 at Headingley.

The win marked the first win for the Giants at the iconic ground in six years and for long periods of the first-half and even heading into the final 20 minutes, it was a result that didn’t look on the cards.

Leeds Rhinos headed into the half 12-2 up with tries from Paul Momorovski and the returning winger David Fusitu’a with Jake Connor’s penalty the only reply.

Ian Watson’s side came out of the traps quickly in the second forty with tries from Esan Marsters and Elliot Wallis helping them level the scores before the Rhinos punched in two of their own in quick succession.

Trailing 24-12 with just 20 minutes to go and with the home side looking to have the momentum it seemed that Rohan Smith’s side were set for a first win at home in four.

Four tries in the final 15 minutes for the visitors proved otherwise with the fatal blow coming when Lachlan Miller took a short drop-out at 24-24 to grant Jake Connor a knock-over penalty to gain the lead with minutes remaining.

Understandably, that decision and the overall performance that saw them twice let a double-digit lead slip has angered Leeds Rhinos fans who have now witnessed four straight losses at Headingley.

Is Rohan Smith’s time up at Leeds Rhinos?

Leeds Rhinos Rohan SMith

Credit: Imago Images

As is with the digital age, it’s social media where much of the post-match discourse takes place and it certainly isn’t favourable towards Leeds Rhinos with their fans demanding change at the club.

A side that have been so successful in the 21st century, Leeds Rhinos fans demand a certain standard and a four and four start to Super League having been dumped out of the Challenge Cup certainly isn’t at the expected standard.

As such fans have called for Rohan Smith to become “the second Smith” to be sacked this season and follow in the footsteps of his Uncle Tony Smith who was axed from Hull FC last week.

One of those leading the arguments was former Super League referee Richard Silverwood who took to X to post: “A strong coach needs to come in and take Leeds forward. Rohan Smith needs to go back coaching tag rugby in OZ very soon.”

The sentiment of seeing Tony Smith leave Headingley was shared by several fans with some being more blunt than others.

One of the big questions surrounding the enigma that is Leeds Rhinos this year is how they can be so good and yet so bad in the same game. Their performance against Leigh Leopards epitomised that with the Rhinos reversing a 16-0 scoreline at half time to win 22-16.

Their win over Castleford saw them head into the sheds at 0-0 but run in four tries and win 26-6 whereas last night’s performance saw them collapse in the second half.

One fan stated: “Sick of dealing with ‘half a game Leeds’, unable to put a performance in for a full 80 minutes. Either throwing games away late on or spending the second half climbing a mountain. Smith needs to go.”

As is always the case when a team loses the officiating decisions were questioned and perhaps on this occasion it’s valid with the interception by Kevin Naiqama to set up Adam Clune’s game-winning try looking to be a knock-on.

Despite that, Chris Kendall didn’t utilise video referee Liam Moore and instead awarded the score, much to the frustration of one fan who labelled it “embarrassing”.

The game might have been officially lost with that try but Huddersfield were granted the biggest lifeline when Lachie Miller inexplicably chose to kick a short drop-out at 24-24, only to fail and concede a penalty.

That decision was another fans highlighted with one fan asking: “If we are going to insist on doing this every other drop out, can we at least spend some time practicing them?”

Another said: “We must have conceded about 20 points from short kickoffs now and won the ball back once.”

Miller’s error has also led to questions over who is to blame for the club’s current woes, those in charge of recruiting or coaching, with star talents like Brodie Croft going to waste.

Leeds Rhinos will look to get back in the win column when they face Hull FC next week, a game that could spell the end for Rohan Smith should the Rhinos lose it.

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