The Leeds Rhinos playing group stuck together through the toughest of times and are now benefitting from that bond, according to centre Harry Newman.
The Rhinos sat second bottom in the Super League table when Rohan Smith took over the head coaching reins in May.
But Smith has made a huge impact since his arrival at Headingley. Leeds have now entered the top six for the first time this year after three wins on the spin.
“The boys have stuck together for the whole time,” Newman said when appearing on The Rugby League Verdict on Sky Sports. “It has been a tough period.
“We started really poorly but there’s been no moment where we’ve doubted ourselves or our ability. To come to this point of where we are in the season, playing as well as we are and still knowing we’ve a lot of improvement in us, I think that is a massive credit to Rohan.
“Since Rohan has come in he has changed the culture and how the boys are around the place. It is a massive credit to him, the staff and the group for staying together at such a tough time.”
Rohan Smith believed in Leeds Rhinos
Newman has praised Smith for their turnaround in fortunates, with the Rhinos now solely focused on securing a play-off place.
“He had the belief in us,” Newman said of Smith.
“You only have to look at our result against Catalans. Everyone would’ve thought that game was dead and buried with 20 minutes to go. But the messages that came on the field was ‘the game is not over until the final whistle goes’; and we believed in that as a team. There were moments in that game that didn’t go our way but we stuck together and managed to come away with the win.
“The game against Salford would’ve probably have fallen away from us (before Smith came). We started really well and they came back into it. A few weeks ago we probably would have lost that game but we stuck together, rode the wave of Salford’s attack and got the job done.”
Leeds will look to strengthen their place in the play-off spots when they travel to Hull KR on Friday night, who are coached by Rhinos legend Danny McGuire.