Rohan Smith: Sin bin made us play better

Drew Darbyshire
Rohan Smith Leeds Rhinos Luke Brooks SWpix

Photo: Alex Whitehead/SWpix

Leeds coach Rohan Smith praised his side’s resilience after they produced an incredible second half comeback to beat Catalans at Headingley.

The Rhinos were 22-8 down at half-time against the Dragons, who went into the game with a 100 per cent win record.

Leeds then lost star man Harry Newman to the sin bin for dissent within five minutes of the second half restart.

But the Rhinos fought their way back by scoring 24 unanswered points in the second half, with Newman sealing the win with his second try with five minutes remaining.

Smith said: “When we went down to 12 men we actually played better, so that was a good sign.

“You don’t know how that kind of period is necessarily going to pan out, but sometimes in sport people show more when their back is against the wall, and that’s when you find out about them.”

Newman scored the Rhinos’ first try to bring his side back into the game after Catalans winger Tom Davies scored the opener.

The England hopeful came up with another impressive display, with his only downfall being his yellow card at the start of the second half.

Smith continued: “The talent is there and the challenge is to find his all-round game week in, week out – he’s got all the tools and it’s about application.

“Every player needs to learn how to manage their emotions, that’s a critical part of being at high-level performance. It’s not just talent, it’s the management of emotions that gives the talent a chance.”

Rohan Smith wants Rhinos to back it up next week

Next up for the Rhinos is a trip to Craven Park to face Hull KR next Friday night.

And Smith wants his side to show composure against the Robins rather than riding the highs of beating Catalans, who were one of the in-form teams in the competition.

The Rhinos boss added: “That game won’t count at all when we go to KR on Friday, it will be gone.

“But it did show there is a lot of belief and resilience in the group, that they are brave and want to play footy when the opportunity allows.”

Their win over Catalans sees Leeds sat seventh in the Super League table, having won three from six so far.

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