Today Rohan Smith spoke to the press ahead of Leeds Rhinos’ huge game against Salford Red Devils.
The Rhinos need a win to leapfrog Salford into the top six whereas defeat would leave the Rhinos ninth in the league with their play-off hopes dangling by a thread.
Perhaps the league’s two in form teams having beaten the top two by an aggregate score of 86-24 between them over the last two weeks so it should be a great game and Smith identified what makes the Red Devils so dangerous: “Tim Lafai almost came to the (Gold Coast) Titans when I was coaching there. I’ve coached against him a little bit, but he’s very athletic and a lot of footy comes off the back of his carries.
“Their biggest strength is the team and the belief in each other. They bring out the best in the individual and they work hard and scramble hard.
“They are a great example of what a team is.”
Smith also revealed that ‘preliminary chats’ have been instigated as they try and solve Zak Hardaker’s future.
The fullback / centre has been exceptional since returning to Headingley and though Leeds are linked with Luke Hooley of Batley he’s a player many want to stay at the club.
“I’ve had preliminary chats with his agent and we will keep the ball rolling there,” Smith said.
“There is no strict timescale there and it will sort itself out as we go along.”
Smith also noted that Leeds don’t have the capacity to make the moves they’d like to in terms of incomings: “It’s been very vigorous, we are limited as to how much movement we can have.
“I’m happy with our roster and it’s a matter of tweaking and adjusting things – we need to have an understanding of where we go and what the value is on players and then understand the market and try to establish value.
“I go to a few games each week other than our own which you can’t get on video.”
Intriguingly he also spoke about Zane Tetevano who is set to return from another long ban having picked up a five match suspension against St Helens.
Smith said: “Zane and I have spoken frequently since I’ve been here on his game and what is important in his game and that process began after his misdemeanour against St Helens.
“We’ve been building up for this game and chipping away at it.
“Zane is a tremendous trainer and he has always been fit and dedicated. He could easily be the most conscientious and diligent trainer at this club. He preps for the session and recovers from the
session like very few others I have come across. He is extremely professional
“It’s a contact sport and sometimes things go wrong.”
Tetevano is undoubtedly an experienced player and the Rhinos will need him to be at his best against the Red Devils come Sunday.
Speaking of experienced players, Smith also revealed that two-time Grand Final winner Tom Briscoe hasn’t received a new deal to remain at the club as yet: “He hasn’t been offered a new deal at this stage, but it’s always a moving thing.”