They played each other at the same stage last year when Rovers – still under Tim Sheens – just scraped a 14-10 victory.
Given the injury-ravaged Robins’ current plight, losing their last five Super League games and only being able to name a 20-man squad, it is no wonder Leigh will be fancying their chances of this time finishing the job.
“They always play physical and they’re very spirited in the way they go about their matches,” said Smith.
“That’s been the same ever since I’ve been in this country for the last 20 years or so.
“You know you’re in a match with them. It’ll be tough,” he added.
Leigh are in form and have a wealth of Super League experience with the likes of Junior Sa’u, Jarrod Sammut and Jordan Thompson.
They also boast two players released by Smith at the end of last season – Danny Addy and Ryan Shaw – as a well as a third former Robin in Iain Thornley.
“They’ve had a decent start in the Championship and they’ll certainly ask some questions of us,” said the KR chief.
“They’ve some experienced players but I’d like to think we’ll ask some questions of them that they probably don’t get asked in the same way in the Championship.
“It’s a good challenge for both teams. We know if you don’t perform well you’ve a fair chance of getting turned over, no matter who it is.”
Full-back Adam Quinlan, captain Weller Hauraki and ex-Hull FC back-row Dean Hadley all return from injuries for KR.
However, they have seen Matthew Storton, Robbie Mulhern, Will Maher, Greg Minikin and Joe Keyes all drop out with injuries following Sunday’s loss at Wigan.