The penny hasn’t dropped with Leeds – bans risk ruining Rhinos season

Leeds Rhinos
Referee Tom Grant gives a red card to Zane Tetevano of Leeds Rhinos

Leeds are heading in the right direction under Rohan Smith but players picking up bans every week are jeopardising their entire season.

Legendary enforcer Adrian Morley believes the Rhinos recent resurgence under their new coach is being hamstrung by the team’s poor discipline. Matt Prior this week lost his appeal against a two-match ban for a late hit on a kicker in their Magic Weekend win over Castleford. 

The forward is the 18th suspension this season for the Rhinos, who are nonetheless breathing down the necks of the Super League top six, three points behind the Tigers after that win at St James’ Park. 

But speaking exclusively to Love Rugby League on this week’s podcast, Morley – who was sent off nine times in his career – says his former side have to stamp out their indiscipline. 

Morley on Leeds’ disciplinary

“The way the game has gone you can’t do things you could have done in the past. And that is right for player welfare and safety,” says Morley.

“But the penny hasn’t dropped with Leeds. There are a number of players still going over that line. So they are going to have to learn quick before it ruins the season and the players’ careers too. 

“You don’t want to be labelled as someone who gets banned every two minutes so they do need to take some lessons.”

Morley played 149 times for Leeds before leaving for Sydney in 2000. Despite their issues with suspensions, he believes the Rhinos are improving under new boss Smith, the nephew of Leeds coaching great Tony Smith.

“They are certainly heading in the right direction,” added Morley. “I’m a big fan of Smithy, his family are tried and tested super coaches. 

“They weren’t world-class players but took an interest in coaching and when you get a coach like that then I think you do get a better quality of coach. I just think he has the right metal and the right coaching attributes and think he will do great.

“He is the right man, but it is not going to happen overnight. There are some great signs there with some remarkable wins.”

PODCAST: Adrian Morley on enforcer Morgan Knowles, disciplinary tightropes & NRL memories

Adrian Morley is joining Sam Burgess and Jamie Peacock for Gods of League: The Enforcers, which takes place across the north of England in October 2022 at Warrington Parr Hall on Thursday 6th October, Halifax Victoria Theatre on Friday 7th October, Leeds O2 Academy on Sunday 9th October and Hull City Hall on Thursday 13th October. For tickets and more information, visit http://gigst.rs/gol

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