Yesterday was a seismic day for the Leeds Rhinos as they took a spot in the top six for the first time this season with a brilliant 34-14 win over Salford Red Devils.
The Rhinos were fast starters with three tries from Harry Newman – a particularly special effort – Richie Myler and Rhyse Martin.
Leeds then had to contain a brilliant Salford fightback which brought the Red Devils back to 18-14. A Martin penalty gave Leeds a little more breathing space before an Ash Handley intercept proved to be the killer blow.
Martin then added eight more points with a try and two goals.
It was a terrific win not least because of what it means for the league table as Leeds move into the play-off spots for the first time, though coach Rohan Smith continues to ignore the ladder.
“Two points was what we were after today and that’s the weekly battle is to get ready for the next opportunity,” Smith said after the game before going onto reveal when he would finally look at the ladder: “After the last round. At this point in time it’s not helpful to be looking at the ladder.
“We’re in a position where we have control over the situation.”
It also sounds like Leeds’ mentality won’t change despite them now being in control of their own destiny with Smith saying that his mindset is always the same; he’s always chasing the perfect game.
He said: “My sickness or disease is that I’m chasing a perfect game or performance and I know that’ll never come but that’s my weekly challenge.”
Smith’s correct mentality
This is the right kind of mentality for the Rhinos as they can’t afford to take the foot off the gas at this stage with every game acting as a must win contest for the play-off chasing loiners.
What makes it all the more important is that this is the kind of mentality adopted by the best performers in any sport and can only improve Leeds going into 2023 and beyond.