A year ago Leeds Rhinos battled their way to Old Trafford defeating Wigan Warriors and Catalans Dragons on their way to the Grand Final.
This year, the Rhinos were a long way off those heady heights after a difficult season for the club as they slumped to eighth in the league.
It was a season undermined by injury as well as mid season exits and Rohan Smith seemingly commented on that:
“There’s a lot of spirit, there’s a lot of ability, and there’s a lot of a belief in this group, the group that played, but also the group in and around that are injured and unavailable. So we’ve learned a lot.
“We’ve let ourselves down at various times this year. Some other people have let us down as well and left us short on troops at times, but we’ve kept fronting up and they’ve kept connected and they’ve worked together and they’re good mates. They haven’t turned.
“It’s still been enjoyable to me. Hard, but enjoyable and that’s what life and sport is supposed to be. Last year going to the grand final, it was hard and enjoyable as well. So nothing much shifts for me.
“There’s a lot of belief in that group. There’s a lot of good people. There’s a lot of good things happened in this club, behind the scenes, throughout the year. And there’s foundations being laid.”
He had a message for the fans: “It’s difficult and I respect the fans for keep turning up and keep singing. I respect that they’re disappointed as well on the overall season, as we all are. We all live and breathe it every minute, every day. All we want to do is do well for the club and we’ll be fighting back next pre-season, that’s for sure.”
He also said that they club could make three signings:
“Lots of review this week. Staff have got a full week of it, it’ll probably be the hardest week of the season for the staff to debrief and to get forward planning.
“The players will have a debrief later in the week individually, medical and that stuff. That’s important, a really important week for us this week.
“Then there’s a bunch of recruitment that’s going on in the background to get those last few spots signed off and then the planning really starts which to me is a really enjoyable and fun part of the season. No matter how this season finished, getting the next one prepared is something I love to do.”
“There’s probably three spots I reckon, depending if there’s any other movement amongst our roster.”
These signings could likely be a hooker, a stand off and a prop but a centre is also a priority with Nene MacDonald leaving the club.
One player they have been linked with has been Sam Powell.