Rohan Smith explains Leeds Rhinos’ bad form, more disruption than ever before and whether the Super League club is still together

IT’S fair to say that it has been a dreadful number of weeks for the Leeds Rhinos.

After a 50-0 demolition by the Wigan Warriors, the Rhinos were then battered 61-0 by Catalans Dragons.

For Leeds head coach Rohan Smith, however, he has hailed the togetherness within the squad through and after that defeat.

“We had a good chat after the game and spent a bunch of time together which was a really good thing. We planned to spend some time together in Perpignan on Sunday and we ended up having a five-hour delay on the end of that,” Smith said.

“The players spent a lot of time together, we are all in it together and we have enjoyed each other’s company even though it was a discomforting time at the same time.

“Everyone that has been in sport for a long time, on a bad day the score can really go against you and we have had a couple of those.

“We are under-staffed in a number of capacities. There are a number of players asked to do a lot more than they are ready for but it’s on the job learning.

“Overtrying was a bit of an issue the other day and trying to fix it individually rather than staying connected with the team. That was a reminder we need to stay together.

“We are having a tough time with performances on the field but we have had a lot of development of our younger players, middle players and senior players too. We are excited about the group that we have and with a few more additions to the group we are excited about what the future holds.”

Smith also believes that the best teams in the NRL and Super League have tough moments.

“In any organisation you have tough times and tough moments and even some of those teams at the top of the NRL and Super League have had some bruising defeats.

“I wouldn’t say it’s all doom and gloom, we are looking forward to this week and looking beyond that. Everyone is hurting and disappointed where the season is.

“I’ve learned a lot and it’s confirmed a lot too, it’s been a great year in terms of overcoming obstacles. There have been a lot of spanners in the works on a weekly basis.

“I’ve been around for a good while at all levels and there has been more disruption in this year than there has been in my 20 years in professional sport.

“It’s been good to learn about our individuals and staff who have been outstanding, supporting our group and overcoming obstacles.

“The playing group still in the building have overcome a lot which will stand us in good stead for the future.”

The Leeds boss complimented his playing group and staff in coming together following the Catalans battering.

“After results like that, all of the players and staff sat around one table in one room post-game without being asked to do so, it was a choice.

“People spent time with each other, sometimes people fracture off into their own existence but that was commendable to see.

“We are down on four or five season ending injuries with four players that aren’t with us anymore. You take eight players out of a starting 17 and that is a big void. The group is very much together and learning harsh lessons together.”

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