Leeds Rhinos coach Rohan Smith was full of praise for Sam Lisone after the Samoan prop scored a hat-trick in their 28-12 win over Hull FC.
The Rhinos kept their play-off hopes alive with a 28-12 win at the MKM Stadium thanks to an unlikely hat-trick from former Samoa international Lisone, who hadn’t scored for Leeds in his first 20 appearances for the club.
Speaking in his post-match press conference after the game, Smith said: “He clearly had some big plays in the game that influenced the momentum, but Sam has been doing that with his physical presence for the last three or four months.
“He’s been a real upside in our team. He’s made the most of his minutes and really had an impact.
“It was nice to get a few tries today but it was more the impact he had on the game than just his tries.
“We appreciate his leadership and the way he stepped forward.
“We had seven or eight of our top 17 not available and players like Sam stepped forward in a leadership role.”
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Leeds Rhinos coach Rohan Smith praises ‘team performance’ in win at Hull
As well as Lisone’s treble, Luke Hooley and David Fusitu’a also got on the scoresheet for the Rhinos, with Rhyse Martin kicking four goals.
“It was a team performance,” Smith added. “We defended particularly well.
“We had a lot of young kids and we had to play under pressure for a bit. That will put them in good stead for the future.”
The Rhinos are currently sat eighth in the Super League table with three games remaining of the regular season, sitting four points behind Hull KR and Warrington, who are in sixth and seventh.
Leeds take on Wigan, Catalans and Castleford in their remaining games.