Challenge Cup: Leeds Rhinos head coach Rohan Smith aware of prestige before St Helens tie

Betfred Challenge Cup sixth round: Leeds v St Helens

Venue: AMT Headingley Date: Friday, 22 March Kick-off: 20:00 BST Coverage: Live on BBC iPlayer, red button, website and app, live on BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra, Radio Leeds and BBC Radio Merseyside

Leeds Rhinos head coach Rohan Smith says he is aware of the "prestige and history" of the Challenge Cup going into Friday's huge sixth-round tie with old rivals St Helens.

The two clubs have enjoyed thrilling encounters in Grand Finals, Challenge Cup finals and numerous semi-finals.

Smith's own introduction to the competition came when dad Brian was boss of Hull, and then Bradford.

"I've always followed the Challenge Cup," Smith told BBC Radio Leeds.

"I remember going to games when dad coached at Hull in the late 80s.

"I understand the prestige and the history, the rollercoaster that it is playing sudden-death."

His father Brian, one of the great coaches both in Australia - with clubs such as St George, Sydney Roosters and Parramatta - as well as in the northern hemisphere, took Bradford to the final in 1996 when Rohan was a teenager.

The journey through the rounds, and the experience of Wembley week and the day itself all left a lasting impression on the would-be coach.

"I went to Wembley in 1996 and that was a phenomenal experience, in a high-scoring exciting game," Smith added.

"We didn't get the result but the whole experience of being at Wembley and that journey to get there, I've been around it.

"It was a tough one to take, being on the losing side, but you love being there on those special occasions."

Old foes meet, again

Friday's tie between Smith's Leeds and Paul Wellens' St Helens is the second meeting in seven days, via a quirk of the fixture list and the Challenge Cup draw.

Saints bounced back from 8-0 down to conquer the Rhinos on their home patch in a superb game last week.

With both sides having given away some of their secrets, Wellens was asked at his media briefing whether there was a different challenge for coaches in terms of preparing for the same opposition so soon after facing them last.

"In some respects it's less work, you've prepared for that team in one week," he said.

"Although they're going to adapt, and look at ways they can improve and do things differently - and we're going to have to be aware of that.

"A lot of the personnel doesn't change, so it's about getting the balance right, as coaches we're always careful of what and how we show things, you want to cover everything but, doing that, you can provide too much information.

"Big games like this, it's about trusting the playing group, they know what big games look like and understand what is required."

Leeds felt frustration they had let slip a commanding position in last Friday's meeting, having caused Saints numerous problems in the opening 40.

Lachie Miller, one of their new arrivals this off-season, was dynamic in attack, while fellow newly signed spine players Matt Frawley, Brodie Croft and Andy Ackers also showed their merits.

There is an appreciation that Saints have shown some improved traits in their performance too, but that despite the loss there is much for the Rhinos to take into round two.

"They're a very good team," Smith said.

"They've shown some differences in how they've played to previous seasons, they needed to play very well to beat us but we can take some confidence in how we played and attacked the game.

"We've got a new spine that have played nearly five games together, we're playing against a team with on-field experience together.

"We're growing and evolving and learning, and showed good signs of playing some good footy in a short period of time."