‘Get better at flops and being offside’: Rohan Smith’s sarcastic ref rant after Leeds Rhinos defeat

ROHAN SMITH has accused match officials of a softening in their crackdown on technical laws after his Leeds side exited the Challenge Cup.

The Rhinos are out of the Cup at the first hurdle for the fourth season running after their 6-20 defeat to St Helens at Headingley on Friday night.

Head coach Smith admitted his players were second best in the game but lamented infringements that he felt weren’t being penalised.

Ahead of this season, the RFL stated an intention to clamp down on flops, markers not being square and not playing the ball with the foot.

While these were frequently being penalised in pre-season games and the opening rounds, Smith said they have crept back into the game unpunished.

“In pre-season, there was a crackdown. Now people are back to rolling the ball through their legs,” he said.

“Offside matters sometimes, and other times it doesn’t. It’s like a discretionary penalty all the time.

“I had concerns last week, that the number of flops escalated, and not just in our game.

“Markers are standing next to each other again. All the things that were spoken about, have gradually, or not so gradually, regressed.

“What can you do? I haven’t spoken about it to our players, we’ve just got to get used to it.

“We’ve got to join them. We’ve got to get better at flops. We’ve got to get more consistent at being offside.”

Leeds’ sole focus is now Super League, in which they have won three of their opening five matches and travel to Castleford this Thursday, after more Cup woe.

“One aspect of what we wanted to accomplish this year has slipped away. It’s disappointing,” said Smith.

“There’s a narrow focus now on one competition, so we’ll dust off and go again next week.”