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Fitter, happier Roosters with Smith: SKD

Most pundits view the appointment of new coach Trent Robinson, and the accompanied exit of Brian Smith, as the key to the Sydney Roosters' rise from 13th on the NRL ladder to grand finalists.
Fitter, happier Roosters with Smith: SKD
by AAP

By Rob Forsaith

SYDNEY, Oct 1 AAP - Most pundits view the appointment of new coach Trent Robinson, and the accompanied exit of Brian Smith, as the key to the Sydney Roosters' rise from 13th on the NRL ladder to grand finalists.

But through Brian's son Keegan, the name Smith has also been at the fore of the Roosters' marked improvement this season.

On the field, Robinson has added much defensive steel but, off it, Smith has brought about just as much change.

That is the opinion of Roosters centre Shaun Kenny-Dowall, who says strength and power coach Smith has helped transform the side into a more professional outfit in his first year at a NRL club.

"He's had a different approach in the gym and he really wanted us to work on our midsection and legs - more Olympic lifting, deadlifts, snatches," Kenny-Dowall said ahead of Sunday's premiership decider against Manly.

"Some of the boys hadn't really done that stuff before, so it was a long process.

"He was real patient ... and I think it's starting to pay off now. All the boys got used to it and have become faster and stronger as well."

Smith previously worked for French side Catalans Dragons for two years in the Super League.

Kenny-Dowall added that Smith's diet plans had also made him a better player.

"He's really got the boys eating well ... some of the boys are in the best shape of their lives; not only the diet - our preparation in general," the 25-year-old said.

"Becoming a full-time professional, it's something that has definitely turned around at this club this year."




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