Leeds Rhinos boss Rohan Smith slams stoppages and “gamesmanship” from Salford Red Devils

LEEDS RHINOS head coach Rohan Smith has slammed the amount of stoppages in his side’s 22-16 win over Salford Red Devils last night.

The fixture, which kicked off at 8pm, finished at around 10pm with a persistent number of video referee interjections.

For Smith, the gamesmanship and stoppages need to be stamped out.

“We’ve stopped for Chris Atkin to get his head checked, neck checked, then his ankle and then his knee and eventually he got a green card,” Smith said after the game.

“But even on the back of that, they’ve still had two minutes rest. Then straight after that, (Cade) Cust gets injured and they stop the game for him, but he didn’t want to get a green card, so they stop the game, it stops, and then they go again.

“What are we doing? The game is about attrition. It’s about tough blokes getting up and playing on.

“Of course, if someone’s got a neck injury, concussion, a bone sticking out, everyone knows those situations and you take care of the player 100%.

“James Bentley last year, that was a 10, 15 minute, maybe even longer stoppage at Huddersfield because player safety is number one. But, we stopped for a bloke doing his boot up.”

Smith went on to bemoan the length of time the fixture went on for.

“We couldn’t keep the touch because he was doing his boot up. I can’t, you know, don’t hold anything against the bloke doing his boot up. That’s gamesmanship at its finest.

“I’m having this conversation whether we win or lose, like it’s, we should be talking about a good game of footy, which in the end Paul and I were just having a chat, it was a good game of footy for round one, but it went for an hour and 55 minutes and there wasn’t that many tries in it so it wasn’t that many video refs but that’s me for that. It was a good game when it was going.”

Click here to purchase a digital edition of League Express.

Click here to purchase an online edition of League Express through pocketmags.com.

Click here to listen to our new League Express Podcast.

League Express is widely available from local newsagents across the north of England.