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Tony Smith’s reaction as Hull KR suffer another heavy loss to Leeds

Hull KR head coach Tony Smith was impressed by the efforts of his players despite losing heavily to Leeds for the second consecutive week.

A much-changed Rovers side were convincingly beaten 41-16 by the Rhinos but Smith had sympathy with his players following the match in Warrington.

“The amount of changes can make it hard for the players sometimes,” he said. “A lot of these guys needed a chance to have a crack.

“Some of them have been training for a very long time without having a game and there is no reserve grade.

“There were some boys who put in some big efforts in the last number of weeks who needed a break.

“Shaun Kenny-Dowall was going to get a break but I had someone ring in sick this morning and made some changes.

“He put his hand off and did a big physical session yesterday, I asked him to play and I thought he had one of his best games for us.

“All credit to Shaun for that. He set a great example to the younger blokes around him.

“That is what we need at the moment, blokes who put their backs to the wall and grinding it out and he certainly did that.

“At the moment, it is the case of not over-playing the lads. We need to freshen some people up when we need to and give some opportunities to boys who have not played for a while.”

The match at the Halliwell Jones Stadium saw Smith hand a debut to youngster Will Tate and the Robins boss was full of praise for the full-back.

“I thought Will was good. It was not a perfect start for the kid but he has enhanced his reputation and come out of it on a positive side.

“He was not without mistake but at the same time, I thought he exceeded that by a long shot. I think he showed some real maturity and class at different stages.

“He will be better for it. The only thing I am disappointed for him is that his parents were not allowed to be here for his debut, which is a real shame.

“Sooner we can get out crowds back in the better.”

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