'We're going to have to be very good': But Leeds Rhinos coach Rohan Smith is upbeat ahead of Wigan Warriors clash

Leeds Rhinos have had a lot to contend with over the past week, but boss Rohan Smith is confident of an energetic performance against Wigan Warriors on Thursday.

By Peter Smith
Wednesday, 20th July 2022, 4:45 pm

Leeds travelled to France last Friday for a game against Toulouse Olympique which was played in near-40 degree heat the following evening.

They arrived back on Sunday and have had only limited time to prepare for their first home match for two months, but Smith insisted there has been “good energy” at training this week.

“We took a lot of belief, they boys were proud of their effort as such a young group,” Smith said of the response to last Saturday’s 20-6 defeat.

Rhinos boss Rohan Smith talks to his players beforde the game in France. Picture by Manuel Blondeau/SWpix.com.

“We certainly got something out of that, they were extreme conditions we played in and people kept turning up and played with good spirit.

“There’s a good vibe off the back of that.”

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Smith was also encourage by the way Rhinos “finished the game with really good energy”, despite more injury setbacks.

Rhinos are back at Headingley for the first time in two months. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

He added: “The players embraced some of the things we’ve been doing to prepare for the heat and they saw it as an opportunity.

“They were looking forward to putting themselves to the test.

“While we didn’t execute some things as well as we’d have liked, the effort and attitude was certainly there.”

Today will be no easier against the team second in Betfred Super League, but after six successive games on the road, Smith reckons being back at Headingley will lift Rhinos.

“It definitely feels like a long time,” he said.

“We’ve played eight games since I’ve been here and only had one at home.

“I am certainly excited by it and I know the players are.

“They are buzzing about the prospect and the opportunity of playing such a big team at home.”

Of Wigan, he warned: “They are a high-flying team who are performing well.

“They’ve got a great blend of experience and young players, some real strike and some tough,hard-working players.

“They know who they are as a team, they’re consistent so we are going to have to be very good to challenge them.”