SMITH PLEASED WITH WIN
Leeds coach Tony Smith was happy to get Sunday’s engage Super League opener out of the way after earning a narrow 30-26 win at Salford.
Leeds coach Tony Smith was happy to get Sunday’s engage Super League opener out of the way after earning a narrow 30-26 win at Salford. The Rhinos led 22-6 and 30-16 but the Reds, who dominated possession throughout, refused to lie down at The Willows with John Wilshere and Aaron Moule both touching down twice. In the end Leeds just had enough after star signing Brent Webb crossed twice on debut and Kevin Sinfield kicked five goals. Smith said: "Salford are a good team, they have shown that for a couple of years now. They always give us a tough game and they did again. "So credit to them, but credit to my team for toughing it out. We were a bit rusty and it was hard to get flowing. "We didn’t have a lot of ball – we need to secure it and do a lot more with it. It was a precious win for us today. "To score 22 in the first half was quite remarkable considering how little ball we had." Leeds scored further tries through Danny McGuire, Rob Burrow and Jordan Tansey but it was the performance of New Zealand full-back Brent Webb that stood out. Webb was one of the stars of last autumn’s Tri-Nations Series and Smith believes Rhinos fans can look forward to plenty more. He said: "Believe it or not, he is a bit disappointed. He has got more to come and he knows he can play better than that. Those are the standards he sets for himself." Smith’s opposite number Karl Harrison, who guided Salford to the play-offs last year, felt his side paid the price for starting too slowly and conceding two tries in the opening six minutes. Harrison said: "We got off to a soft start but overall I thought it was a pretty good performance. We showed a lot of character. "When they got in our quarter we looked vulnerable but it is a stepping stone. "We have played one of the big boys and taken them right to the wire. There was not a lot between the teams."