Tony Smith plays down Leeds Rhinos links after Hull KR beat Leigh Centurions in Challenge Cup

Tony Smith said he spends “zero time” thinking who will become Richard Agar’s permanent successor as Leeds Rhinos head coach.

Smith has been linked with a return to Headingley but played down speculation after his Hull KR side booked a Betfred Challenge Cup quarter-final against Castleford Tigers with a 24-18 win over Championship side Leigh Centurions.

However, he said his thoughts were with “good friend” Agar who resigned his post last Monday.

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“It is your job to speculate not mine,” said Smith who described the home win as “mixed”.

HEAD COACH: Tony Smith. Picture: Will Palmer/SWpix.com

“My job is to prepare my team and get them ready for every game. I don’t owe anybody or have to please my supporters by telling them what I am doing next year.

“I am quite at ease not knowing what my future is and I have said that all along.

"What is going at another club has nothing to do with us. I haven’t discussed my future with anyone and I am not going to discuss it publicly until I discuss it privately and that is usually with my boss at home.”

Ben Reynolds kicked Leigh into an early lead but Mikey Lewis inspired a home fightback with a try and an assist for Frankie Halton with Matt Parcell also touching down before the break.

CUP WIN: For Hull KR. Picture: Will Palmer/SWpix.com.

Matty Storton’s second-half effort appeared to make the game safe until Leigh tries from Keanan Brand, Jacob Jones and Joe Mellor in the final 16 minutes, plus two Krisnan Inu conversions, brought the visitors back into contention.

Hull KR: Dagger, Keinhorst, Wood, Kenny-Dowall, Crooks, Lewis, Abdull, Garratt, Parcell, King, Halton, Linnett, Minchella. Subs: Storton, Sims, Milnes, Maher.

Leigh: Aekins, Brand, Chamberlain, MacDonald, Inu, Reynolds, Mellor, Sidlow, Smith, Amone, Wardle, Stone, Asiata. Subs: Ipape, Nisbet, Hingano, Jones.

Referee: C. Kendall