BOSS DAVE Furner hailed “natural footballer” Cameron SmIth after Leeds Rhinos crushed Doncaster 60-0 in their second pre-season game.
Smith, normally a back-rower, was pressed into action at stand-off and produced an eye-catching performance which included a try and eight goals from 11 attempts.
“He was very good,” Furner reflected.
“Cam is what I’d describe as a natural footballer.
“He showed his confidence out there in his own ability and when Brad [Singleton] came off he ended up steering the team as captain.
“I thought he had some really good touches there, in particular with the young kids around him.”
England academy forward Owen Trout, who joined the full-time squad at the start of pre-season, also impressed, bagging a brace of tries.
Furner added: “It was a good opportunity for him. He has come off the back of a very good series against Australia and that will give him confidence.
“[Yesterday] he was playing against men, he has been doing that at training – opposing in the first grade squad – so it isn’t a surprise.
“He is a big lad and he handled that edge back-row quite well.”
Leeds fielded a team largely made up of fringe first team players.
Furner was pleased with the workout and felt the clean sheet was the most impressive aspect of Rhinos’ performance.
He praised assistants James Lowes and Chev Walker for preparing the team and was pleased with the way his side stuck to their guns throughout, particularly when Doncaster brought on several past players for guest appearances.
Rhinos came through with no major injury concerns though winger Luke Briscoe was brought off after damaging a wrist.
Dan Waite-Pullan missed yesterday’s game due to a knee injury suffered in training.
Furner confirmed he plans to field his strongest-available line-up in Kallum Watkins’ testimonial game at home to Castleford Tigers on Sunday.
Watkins is set to make his return from the anterior cruciate ligament injury he suffered against the same opposition at the Magic Weekend last May.