'A tough opportunity': Leeds Rhinos ready to douse Catalans Dragons' fire in huge Super League clash

Coach Rohan Smith reckons Saturday’s game at Catalans Dragons is a “tough opportunity” for Leeds Rhinos.

Rhinos are on a high after last week’s 42-12 hammering of Wigan Warriors, but have not won in France since May, 2017.

Smith rates third-placed Catalans as a “high performing team” and admitted: “It would be a good result if we can go there and win, but it’s going to be hard-fought.”

He warned: “They are a seasoned team that know how to win on their own patch.

Rhinos coach Rohan Smith. Picture by John Clifton/SWpix.com.

“They’ve got some class and leadership in real key positions who steer their team around well so it is going to be a tough opportunity for us.

“We are going to go there, do our best and throw what we’ve got at them, then we’ll see how it looks at full-time.”

Though a fourth win in five games would take Rhinos a step closer to the play-offs, Smith insisted: “I want to win every game we go into and I think every player is like that.

“Every game is the important one; next week is not important until this week is out of the way.

The win over Wigan won't help Rhinos this week, coach Rohan Smith says. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

“It doesn’t serve me to look at the ladder and who plays who - we play Catalans and it’s our opportunity to stake a claim this weekend.”

The performance against Wigan showed what Rhinos are capable of, but Smith stressed: “It’s one game at a time, last week doesn’t help us to win this week.

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“It’s a matter of every week striving for good preparation and good performance.

“Even some of the defeats we’ve had, the process has been decent.

“Not always great, but at a reasonable level. I’d argue there’s some consistency there.”

Rhinos will travel to and from France on the day, after a three-day expedition two weeks ago when they lost 20-6 at Toulouse Olympique.

The temperature is expected to be around 30 degrees at kick-off time, around 10 degrees lower than it was in Toulouse.

Smith confirmed: “The process we went through to prepare for the heat [last time] has been on-going.

“We’ve been doing our best to have the boys feeling uncomfortable and hot on occasions in the build up so we can do our best.”