Leeds Rhinos boss Rohan Smith explains Castleford Tigers defeat, decision to take off Harry Newman and why Sam Walters didn’t play

LEEDS RHINOS head coach Rohan Smith has reflected on last night’s loss to the Castleford Tigers.

Leeds were winning 8-6 at half-time, but failed to score a point in the second-half as Smith lamented a number of errors.

“We just failed to get into that second-half,” Smith said. “We made some fundamental errors which didn’t allow us to get any rhythm particularly in the second-half.

“It was a good hard game and we competed well. We showed patches of good arm wrestle footy but there were a lot of stoppages in the game, some through errors.

“The errors happen from time to time and it was hard to get out of that hole but both teams bombed some tries. It was a good hard battle and we knew it would be.”

Star Harry Newman was taken off the field at half-time, but Smith revealed this was all just precautionary.

“As a medical team and coaching staff we made a plan a few weeks that he would make short minutes off the bench and then start the next week.

“He is a unique physical athlete so we are treating him that way.”

Smith also explained why Sam Walters didn’t play.

“Sam isn’t injured, we have a healthy middle unit and Cameron is playing such big minutes at 13.

“We needed to carry an outside back on the bench, it’s unfortunate for Sam as he has done a good, honest job as has James Donaldson. They will be back in contention next week.”

Blake Austin left the field in the second-half for a HIA, but he returned to the field and the Leeds boss said he was fine.

Blake said he felt fine and it was one of those where he may have got a bump and got it checked as we should. He did get up and keep playing, they didn’t stop the game. Credit to him.”