Painful lessons to learn for new Leeds Rhinos manager Yorkshire News

Rhinos failed to find the good guys in the first game for the Aussies in charge, suffering their second loss in as many visits to AJ Bell Stadium this year.

A 26-12 setback in March ended Richard Agar’s reign as coach and Smith’s began with a loss by a greater than one-point margin at the same ground.

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Smith had 10 days to prepare his team for the match and said that despite the result, it was good to see them live in a match situation, rather than a recording or training.

Leeds Rhinos head coach Rohan Smith at the end of the match. Image: John Clifton/

“It’s a difficult perspective, seeing how people communicate with each other and their body language, I think, is a very important thing for coaches to look at,” he said afterwards.

“It was good to get an idea there; seeing how people handle those moments was helpful in moving forward.”

Though he appeared calm throughout the game, Smith admitted to being “a little frustrated at times” with his team’s performance.

Rhinos conceded four tries and Smith noted: “There was a bit of a lack of confidence on a few occasions, where we just gave in and didn’t need to.

“That obviously created opportunities for the opposition.

“There was an attempt where there were some deviations.

“They happen sometimes, but we’ve been working on some defensive things that are a little different than before and they will continue to be worked on,” he added.

“There was no thought that we were going to play a perfect game, no way.”

On the positive he could take from the game, Smith said: “I think we defended well in the second half, generally.

“It was a very close second half in particular.

“Also, the return of a group of players; we had five or six who hadn’t played between a month and 10-12 weeks.

“Give credit to the performance staff that those guys played great minutes and came out unscathed.”

The loss moved Leeds below Salford to 10th place in the Betfred Super League table.

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This notice was published: 2022-05-15 21:45:12

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