Leeds Rhinos boss Rohan Smith calls for calm after disjointed pre-season

Leeds Rhinos head coach Rohan Smith has called for calm amid criticism of the club's pre-season performances.

The 2022 Super League Grand Finalists have lost three of their four trial games to date, with a young side set to travel to Hunslet on Sunday.

After going down to Wakefield Trinity and Leigh Leopards, Leeds backed up a win over Bradford Bulls with a disappointing display at Hull KR.

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Smith mixed and matched throughout pre-season after opting to take a look at players in different positions.

The Australian got what he wanted out of the trial games, which are played during busy training periods.

"Fortunately no competition points have been given out so far," said Smith.

"It's part of the training plan in many cases. If you only play half a game or part of a game, you probably come through the game healthy and not too bashed up so you can hit the ground running for training the next week.

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"We were still very much in pre-season mode training hard when we were playing these friendly games. We needed to get the right amount of game time that players were ready for, practice different positions and try to give some young kids opportunities at a higher level that might help them down the track.

Rohan Smith is interviewed before a game. (Photo: Ed Sykes/SWpix.com)Rohan Smith is interviewed before a game. (Photo: Ed Sykes/SWpix.com)
Rohan Smith is interviewed before a game. (Photo: Ed Sykes/SWpix.com)

"It's a conditioning hit-out essentially as well. There are lots of things that they are – but conclusive about how your season is going to be is one thing they definitely aren't."

Smith has yet to field his strongest side this year, which has largely been enforced due to injuries to key men including Harry Newman, Mikolaj Oledzki and James Bentley.

Despite a disrupted pre-season, Smith is confident his side will hit the ground running at Warrington Wolves in round one next week.

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"Getting out there and having that battle for a period whether you've played 80 minutes or 40 minutes in a friendly gets you ready and a little bit hardened for those moments that matter most when you're competing on TV for competition points," he added.

"It's hard for players to play their best when the coach is making changes and they're not getting in the flow. If you're a half-back, you want to play the whole game so you can get into a rhythm.

"They got what they needed out of it and we'll be ready to have a good crack next week."

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