Rohan Smith praises ‘brave’ Leeds Rhinos star after strong display: ‘He carries the ball hard’

Drew Darbyshire
Ash Handley Leeds Rhinos SWpix

Leeds Rhinos winger Ash Handley goes over for a try

Leeds Rhinos boss Rohan Smith praised winger Ash Handley following an impressive display in their 16-14 win over Salford Red Devils.

England international Handley scored as well as putting his hand up for a number of backyard carries in Leeds’ win at the Salford Stadium.

“He carries the ball hard, he’s brave,” Smith said after the game.

“There’s plenty other guys in that room as well but he’s the team-mate that people want to play with.

“He plays for the name on the front, not the one on the back – that would be my best way to sum up Ash. He’s hard.”

Smith also praised half-back Aidan Sezer who stepped up in the absence of Blake Austin, who missed the game through suspension.

“He had a few big plays in the game, particularly at the end,” Smith added.

“That type of kick and chase game, he talks about that a lot and he led the way with that.

“He stepped forward in Blake’s absence but that was a good team, gritty, hang in there type of performance today across the board.”

Rohan Smith pleased with how Leeds Rhinos found a way to win

The Rhinos were 12-4 at the break before Salford fought back to take a 14-12 in the second half.

Leeds regained the lead and held their nerve to secure the victory which helps them climb to seventh in the table.

Smith said: “It was a good contest between two teams that like to do things differently.

“There was some committed defence, 50-50 plays and a lot of drama in the game.

“The game lacked a bit of rhythm due to errors and stoppages which maybe affected both teams.

“But it was pleasing to find a way to win – and it was a good hard battle which could have gone either way.”

Next up for the Rhinos is a game against Hull KR at Headingley on Friday night, 8pm kick-off.

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