Smith – “We’ll Get Through This Year And Do It With A Smile On Our Face”

Category: The Club

Smith – “We’ll Get Through This Year And Do It With A Smile On Our Face”

Leeds Rhinos head coach, Richard Agar was full of praise for his former colleague and the style of ‘dangerous’ rugby league Hull KR have been producing ahead of Friday night.

Agar labelled Tony Smith’s men one of the ‘challenging’ sides in the competition – wary of a fast moving Robins outfit ahead of the Coral Challenge Cup Quarter final clash.

“Tony didn’t quite get the win last week but I think that their performances over the last few weeks have been challenging. They really are heading in the right direction,” said Agar.

“Ourselves we are a little bit patchy. After a more difficult start we’ve got two wins on the trot so it’s a great opportunity to make it through to what is the semi-final.

“Given the impact of playing mid-week and call offs, the Coral Challenge Cup is a definite that you know the games are going to take place and when. I think it’s something that ourselves will be aiming for.

“They have stuck with it now and found a style and method of playing that really suits their strengths. The fact that there is no relegation takes the pressure off being able to stick with something different, has been really refreshing for the game.”

Across the league, Rovers have been hailed as the ‘entertainers’ thanks to the new kind of play due to the restructure of the league. Although Smith plans to change nothing heading into knockout rugby.

“We’ll have the same sort of approach. The other difference I’d like to think that we had earlier in the year is some of our players, we had a huge injury list earlier in the season,” said Smith.

“We’ve been able to strengthen a little bit and get more numbers in. It gives you confidence not having injuries. In terms of style, if we try to go toe to toe with most teams it would by a different story. We’re trying to play to our strengths, and whilst we defended well I don’t think we particularly attacked well, I was pretty critical of that.

“It would have been nice to have a home game, hopefully were doing it soon and in front of crowd. We’re just grateful that we are back playing and rolling our sleeves up. If they change when we playing or who, we’re just getting on with it.

“That’s part of why I’m keeping this silly beard and horrible haircut. It reminds me every time I look at myself, how tough lockdown was and how much I missed coaching and being with my pals. Any time I start to complain I remind myself of how bad it was when I wasn’t going out traveling to games or having selection problems. The mantra I think for most of us coaches is ‘whatever we have to do this year we’ll do it, and do it as best we can with a smile on our face.”

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