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“We aren’t a great team” – Rohan Smith’s interesting assessment of Leeds Rhinos

Leeds Rhinos have continued their trend of backing up a poor performance with a superb display against one of the top teams as they defeated Huddersfield Giants.

After the game, Leeds boss Rohan Smith said of the game:

“It was a good hard game, a good way to finish Easter Sunday. There’s been some good games over the weekend on the telly and it was a good game and spectacle to finish it off.

“I thought it was a mixed performance from us but we were resilient and we stayed together when it was hard in that first half, We found another gear when we had 12 men and when we were in front at the end there we did enough.”

It was a tough start for the Rhinos as they fell 12-0 down and down to 12 men but Smith wasn’t concerned.

When asked, he said: “Not overly, our first halves haven’t been strong. We’ve been down in most games at half time but our second halves have been particularly good but they’ve had to be because we’ve been down at half time. It’s a good sign to come from behind but we need to get the start of the game attended to also.

“We found energy there, both occasions we’ve had 12 men this year. We did well during that period. I think in the modern game it’s more common to be playing with 12 men so a lot of players aren’t as shocked.

“Growing up and going to games going down to 12 was a big thing and there was a lot of hysteria about it, but I think teams can find 10 minutes with 12 without too much hassle.”

“There were a lot of turning points in that game but we certainly found another level of energy. I thought Tetevano and Lisone off the bench today made a real impact, in tandem, not individually. They were playing off each other and it was a different role for Zane today but he found a spring in his step and Sam certainly made an impact today.”

Smith seems to have complete trust in his side as well: “I haven’t had too many flutters in games this year, I don’t know what that means. Whether it’s getting older or just trusting our team, I think it’s probably maybe a bit of both.”

There have been those who have said that Leeds have played badly at times this season, but Smith reiterated that he feels that is not the case: “We’re good at bouncing back because we know we have to but I don’t think we’ve played badly this year. We’ve had some games where we haven’t played as well as we’d like, but there’s a big difference between being a little bit off what you think is a strong game and being bad.

“I think it gives us a little bit of belief and trust, at the back end of the game both teams were tired and it was a matter of finding it when you’re really under the pump.”

Though he did concede they need to improve their first half performances he also said that his side “aren’t a great team” yet:

“We certainly need to improve our first half, there’s no doubt about that. Obviously I don’t want to lose the second half, we look like we’re going to win every second-half we play aside from maybe round one where even the second-half we played decent in that one too. We need to work out what it is but today I thought we started with good intent, there was a lot of things that we can’t control in that first period.

“We’re not a great team but we’re going okay.”

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