Everything Leeds boss Rohan Smith said after debut defeat at Salford

Ben Olawumi
Rohan Smith Leeds Rhinos

Rohan Smith of Leeds Rhinos

After taking charge of Leeds Rhinos for the first time yesterday, losing 23-8 at Salford Red Devils, here’s everything that Rohan Smith had to say…

Smith on the performance:

“I thought we let ourselves down in some critical moments defensively. Offensively, we just weren’t willing to take our time after we created a little bit of an in-road to play the ball and build some pressure. I didn’t think we built enough.”

Smith on errors:

“I’m not too sure why [they were made]. That’s something about getting to know the players and speaking to them individually as we go forward, seeing how they think with their decision making. It’s too soon for me to know exactly why people made those mistakes.

“I feel there was a lack of trust on a few occasions there. We turned in and didn’t need to which created opportunity for the opposition and there’s one try where there were a few deflections. They happen sometimes but we’ve been working on a few defensive things that are a little different to previous so that’ll continue to be worked on. There was no thought that we were going to play a perfect game today by any means.”

Smith on whether the game was over by half time:

“Not at all. The scoreboard certainly wasn’t in our favour, but it was definitely not out of reach.”

Smith on getting a first game under his belt:

“It’s a different perspective just seeing how people communicate with each other and how they hold their body language, it’s a really important thing for coaches to observe and see how individuals handle those moments. Today was helpful as far as moving forward.”

Smith on his mood throughout:

“I’m a reasonably calm character on the outside but on the inside, I was a little frustrated at times. Our attack wasn’t through lack of effort, it was about lack of execution for sure.”

Smith on the positives available from the game:

“I thought we defended well in the second half overall. It was a hard fought second half particularly and the return of a bunch of players, we’ve had five or six players who haven’t played for anywhere between a month and 10 or 12 weeks, so it was positive.

“Credit to the performance staff that all of those guys got through and played a lot of big minutes. They got through unscathed, I think.”

Smith on whether the task at Leeds is bigger than expected:

“Not at all.”

Smith on moving on quickly:

“I think that’s just today’s performance, it doesn’t count for next week. It’s a matter of learning some stuff from it, reviewing it hard tomorrow and building some focus areas as we move forward to Wakefield.”

Smith on always seeking better:

“It’ll never be a finished product. With my team last year [Norths Devils], we won the Grand Final and we were talking about how we were going to play better next year on the bus on the way home. That’s how I am and who I am, it doesn’t matter about the result as far as the finished product goes. The performance and improvement is something that we’ll be chasing forever.”

Smith on individuals:

“I’m not one to really point out individuals too much. I thought the majority of players had some positive passages in periods. It was more pleasing for me to just see what the guys came up with in a live environment rather than just watching it on video.”

Smith on gaging body language:

“I think most coaches will tell you that body language, how they interact with their teammates, how they communicate with their arms and feet, voice. Everything is important and it was good to get an insight there.”

READ: Diagnosis from Dr Rowley after illness-struck Salford see off Leeds