SMITH REFUSES TO REST RHINOS

Leeds coach Tony Smith claimed he never considered resting players for Monday’s game even though he blamed tiredness in the camp for flat spots in his side’s 44-0 win.

Leeds coach Tony Smith claimed he never considered resting players for Monday's trip to Salford even though he blamed tiredness in the camp for flat spots in his side's 44-0 triumph. St Helens counterpart Ian Millward seems sure to face RFL sanctions after naming a largely second string line-up for the televised encounter at Bradford. But while Smith agreed with Millward that two fixtures over Easter is a tough ask at Super League intensity, he threw all his big names into the fray at the Willows and the Super League leaders were rewarded with their sixth consecutive win. "I wasn't tempted to rest players because Salford are a tough team," he said. "Having such a quick turnaround is a big ask for any player and I felt for Salford because they only had three days and we had four. "It wasn't our best performance because there were plenty of flat spots but it might be the best we can do four days after a game." Salford battled hard but wilted after an encouraging opening, eventually conceding nine tries, including doubles for Marcus Bai and Chev Walker. It was the second away game in succession they had prevented the opposition from scoring a point, something Smith took particular pride in. "It wasn't an aim at the start of the game but it became one amongst the players as the match went on," he said. "I get more encouragement from the goals set within the team rather than the ones the coaches set, so the determination to keep Salford out and the fact they managed to achieve it was very pleasing." For Salford coach Karl Harrison, whose side have now lost five times in six games following their return to the top flight, it was a sobering experience. "We caught an exceptional team on a good day," said the former Great Britain international. "We conceded some soft tries but you have to take the fatigue factor into account and after a hard game on Friday, I have a lot of busted players in my squad now." After two games in three days, Harrison must now raise his team for Friday's trip to St Helens who, he expects, will be back to full strength. "That will be nice won't it," he observed, before admitting no further progress had been made in his attempts to lure half-back Kevin McGuinness from the Manly NRL outfit. "His bags are packed but Manly appears to be closed for Easter." He added: "It's not the games against Leeds that will be vital at the end of the season, or the ones against St Helens, even though we will be trying our best to win on Friday. "But after that we have a run of games against teams we should be able to compete with. "I am 100% committed to this team and we will fight tooth and nail for the entire season."