STAND-IN STAND-OFF Cameron Smith impressed for Leeds Rhinos in a 60-0 win at Betfred League One Doncaster.With new signing Callum McLelland on the casualty list Rhinos travelled with no specialist number six so back-rower Smith took the duties.
The 20-year-old hasn’t really had an opportunity to show his ability as a ball player in the first team yet, but is a quality footballer and the role suits him.
Smith scored a try, was heavily involved in four others and provided the best moment of the game, chipping over the defence, regathering and offloading for James Donaldson to score in the second half. He also kicked eight goals from 11 attempts.
Rhinos were far too strong up the middle and three of their five first half tries were scored by props, then the forward dominance allowed the backs to play some excellent rugby.
England academy second-rower Kyle Trout caught the eye, proving he has skill as well as size and Ashton Golding ran well from the back.
Doncaster, beaten 72-12 by Hull a week earlier, tried hard, but were over-matched. The game was a testimonial for their hooker Kyle Kesik and they fielded several guest players including their 37-year-old former coach Paul Cooke.
Rhinos won’t read too much into their second pre-season game, but got some minutes into the legs of their fringe first team players.
Only three of their 19 – winger Liam Whitton, scrum-half Harvey Space and substitute back Jack Broadbent - were from outside the full-time squad.
Rhinos failed to finish some early breaks, but opened the scoring on 12 minutes when Mikolaj Oledzki stormed over from Donaldson’s short pass.
Doncaster thought they had replied six minutes later when Kesik and Matty Beharrell combined to send Jordan Howden over for what looked to be a well-taken try, but it was chalked off for obstruction.
Trout was the second Leeds player over the line, on 24 minutes, after back-to-back penalties. He put on some neat footwork to slice through from Golding’s pass after Spence had also handled.
Rhinos added three more tries before the break, all quality efforts. Anthony Mullally smashed his way over on the half hour, from Smith’s pass and then Jack Ormondroyd became the third prop to touch down, off Golding’s pass after Smith again had handled.
Then on 38 minutes Smith and Trout combined in nice fashion and Harry Newman finished well at the corner.
That came after Cooke - on for the final 10 minutes of the half - had put up a towering bomb which blew straight into touch on half-way.
Newman’s superb break from close to his own line established field position for Brad Dwyer to go over from acting-half five minutes into the second period.
Smith sent Donaldson over and Spence provided a nice pass for Trout’s second to make it 44-0 on the hour.
Broadbent displayed exciting pace to scorch in for a long-range touchdown and Newman bagged his second by backing-up Dwyer’s break before Smith stepped through from close to the line for a deserved try. That brought up the 60 with 10 minutes left, but Doncaster survived with no further damage.
Doncaster: Slater, Doherty, Bower, Buchanan, Owen, Howden, Beharrell, Boyle, Kesik, Scott, Foster, Dixon, Hedges. Subs Welham, Cross, Chrimes, Graham, Waterman, Cooke, Colton, Castle, Carbutt.
Leeds Rhinos: Golden, Whittonm A Sutcliffe, Newman, L Briscoe, Smith,Spence, Oledzki, Dwyer, Singleton, Trout, Walters, Donaldson. Subs Johnson, McConnell, Mullally, Mustapha, Ormondroyd, Broadbent.
Referee: Chris Kendall (Huddersfield).