Smith eyeing Leeds reunion
Former Leeds Rhinos centre Lee Smith is refusing to count his chickens but he admits a trip with Wakefield Trinity Wildcats to his old club in the Stobart Super League play-offs is a mouthwatering prospect.
The Wildcats will clinch eighth spot if they beat Salford City Reds in their last match of the regular season at Leigh Sports Village this evening and earn a visit to the fifth-placed club in the first round of the play-offs next weekend.
Depending on the outcome of Catalan Dragons’ clash with Bradford Bulls in Perpignan this afternoon, that could mean a reunion for Smith, who spent eight seasons with the Rhinos and was man of the match in their 2008 Grand Final victory.
“I never look at the table and I don’t want to get ahead of myself but it would be fun going back to Headingley,” said Smith, who made the short move to Wakefield two months ago.
“I’ve got some great memories of that place and some real good friends there.
“It would be a special night for this club. When I arrived here, I think we were down in 11th or 12th and for us to win seven on the bounce, I don’t know how long this club has not done that for.”
The Wildcats are enjoying their most successful run in Super League and even a below-par performance during a sixth straight win over Widnes Vikings last Sunday could not dent their growing confidence.
“We’re pleased,” Smith added. “I didn’t think we played very well against Widnes but it’s a sign of you going well when you’re not playing well and picking up victories.
“We are going to have to play better against Salford and then obviously we’re going to play a good side in the play-offs.
“But the thing is it’s in our hands now. It’s all about us, we don’t have depend on anyone else.”
Salford coach Phil Veivers is hoping his side can overcome the loss of home advantage by halting a six-match losing run that cost them any chance of a play-off spot.
Unable to ring the changes following last week’s 46-12 hammering at Leeds because of injuries, Veivers resisted the temptation to pick players from the club’s Under-20s team who have reached the semi-finals of their competition.
“It’s something I thought about but they’ve got more to play for than we have,” he said.
In this evening’s other match, Castleford Tigers take on Hull FC at the KC Stadium.