Leeds Rhinos boss Rohan Smith has not ruled out his side’s chances of finishing in the top six at the end of the Super League season.
The Rhinos fell to a 13-6 defeat to Leigh Leopards live on Sky Sports in Round 21, their 12th loss of the campaign.
Leeds sit ninth on the Super League table and remain still four points away from the play-offs, with Hull KR sitting sixth with 22 and Warrington Wolves just above with the same amount of wins.
Smith was proud of his side’s effort against the Challenge Cup finalists, who take on the Robins at Wembley Stadium next weekend in a triple-header in the capital.
The Australian coach, only in his first full season in charge of the side, hasn’t ruled out a play-off finish with just six games remaining, having led the side to Old Trafford last year.
Leeds take on Warrington Wolves at home in Round 22, followed by games against Huddersfield, Hull, Wigan, Catalans and Castleford.
Rohan Smith hopeful of top six finish
He said: “I’m not too sure how many wins we ended up with last year that got us in there
“I think there are plenty of twists and turns, it’s just about getting one result and trying to get the next one.”
The Rhinos are likely to be without star full-back Richie Myler for the rest of the season due to a foot injury, while in-form playmaker Blake Austin made the move to Castleford on loan for the remainder of the season earlier this week.
That saw Corey Johnson named in the halves alongside Aidan Sezer, while Luke Hooley made only his second Super League appearance – and his home debut – at full-back.
Speaking on his side’s performance, Smith continued: “There is plenty to learn from that game, but also plenty to be proud of.
“We were there or thereabouts, but I thought our defence was excellent against a very good attacking team.
“We had a very disciplined first-half performance, defensively completing our sets and attack-wise we weren’t precise, but disciplined with possession and took some energy out of them.
“The try after half-time was a critical part of the game.”