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“Underconfident” – Pundit argues why Leeds Rhinos needed a change and what Ian Blease will bring

Leeds Rhinos Rohan Smith Ian Blease

Pundit Kevin Brown has spoken about Leeds Rhinos and argued why he believes the club have been so lacklustre as well as outlining what Ian Blease will bring to Headingley.

It’s been a busy couple of weeks at Headingley with Ian Blease first appointed as Sporting Director last Monday before starting this Monday. Within just two days, he’d overseen the major decision for the club to part ways with head coach Rohan Smith, leaving him an even bigger task of now finding a replacement.

Blease had been tasked with reviewing the whole club, Rohan Smith included, but Wednesday’s decision for the Australian to depart was described as mutual and with a focus on tonight’s game at Headingley that will honour and celebrate the life of Rob Burrow not to be overshadowed.

Smith’s departure came after Hull FC snapped their 11-game losing streak with a victory against the Rhinos last week, leaving Leeds in seventh place and two points outside the playoffs. More importantly, it left the club, both fans and players, bereft of confidence and that’s been highlighted by pundit Kevin Brown.

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Should Leeds Rhinos have sacked Rohan Smith?

Leeds Rhinos Rohan Smith

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Brown was speaking on The Sportsman’s Youtube channel on their Last Tackle podcast, a show that was recorded prior to Smith’s departure, and he explained the task that Ian Blease will have and what the club could have done instead of sacking Smith.

Having worked under Blease in his playing days at Salford, Brown spoke of his credentials explaining: “I think what Ian is, is a great leader and he’s calm and composed. He won’t go in and act on emotion but clearly even though you are right, the season is salvageable, they’re only just sat outside, it’s just not good enough at the moment for Leeds.

“But on the back of some sensational transfers and some big money moves in the off-season, we all expected Leeds to be genuine contenders and they’re far from it at the minute. So I think what Ian will do, he will take stock and he’ll look around.”

Blease has taken stock at Leeds Rhinos seemingly and decided that a change is necessary with plenty of fans questioning just how ‘mutual’ the decision for Smith to leave was, however, Brown claims that the ship could have easily been corrected at the club.

He maintained that Smith hadn’t necessarily ‘lost the group’ but instead was dealing with a set of “underconfident” players, something that could be boosted by a welcome break next week during the internationals.

Brown argued: “I don’t think there’s too much to change to have an impact quite quickly. I think if you’ve got confidence in the group, sometimes you lose the group and you hear that term quite a lot, has he lost the group?

“Well for me it just looks like they’re that underconfident, whatever Rohan says at the moment it might fall on deaf ears. I know they’re expecting a massive crowd, if they can get a good response and a break, well that might be enough just to get the confidence back but it’s going to take a lot to turn this season around and it might be that the head coach needs changing.”

Have Leeds Rhinos gone too early on removing Rohan Smith?

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