SMITH HAILS RESOLUTE RHINOS

Leeds coach Tony Smith praised his side’s defence after their 46-0 crushing of Widnes on Sunday.

Leeds coach Tony Smith praised his side's defence after their 46-0 crushing of Widnes on Sunday. The Rhinos ran nine tries past the hapless Vikings as they stormed back to the top of the Tetley's Super League with a fine performance at the Halton Stadium. Yet despite the Rhinos' attacking dominance, Smith felt felt the defensive effort was just as noteworthy. He said: "We have not nilled a side for quite some time and it's an achievement which I hope to repeat this season. "I thought the conditions may be a leveller but the boys were in pretty good form and very committed to each other. "We had quite a few people on the sidelines and it's going to be hard trying to squeeze them into the team after this but I'll handle it. "Widnes tried exceptionally hard particularly in the first half but some of our tries were terrific." Marcus Bai touched down twice for the Rhinos whilst Matt Diskin, Danny McGuire, Francis Cummins, Kevin Sinfield, Rob Burrow, Chris Feather and Barrie McDermott also touched down. The defeat leaves the Vikings still looking for their first win of the campaign after four successive defeats. Coach Neil Kelly said: "The die was cast when Leeds got a healthy lead early on and we conceded some disappoint tries. "Leeds played like a side that believed they could win and we didn't. "But I believe in myself and now the players have to start doing the same."