Saturday’s 28-12 success kept alive Rhinos’ faint top-six hopes, though Smith believes they will need to win their remaining three games – at home to Wigan Warriors and Castleford Tigers either side of a trip to Catalans Dragons - to qualify for the play-offs.
Despite being without seven first team regulars, including winger Ash Handley who was ruled out with a foot injury, Rhinos led 18-4 at half-time and sealed a precious win with tries at the beginning and end of the second period.
Lisone came off the bench to score the first points of his Leeds career, added another before the break – both from close-range – and powered 40 metres to complete his hat-trick late on, ending a mini-Hull fightback.
Smith said: “Sam clearly had some big plays that influenced the momentum, but his physical presence over the last three or four months has been a real upside of our team.
“He has made the most of his minutes and really had an impact. It was nice for him to get a few tries, but I was pleased with the impact he had as well.”
Lisone joined Rhinos in pre-season from Gold Coast Titans and Smith added: “He fit in with the group from day one, he has been taking good steps forward and I really appreciate his leadership and the way he stepped up in the wake of seven or eight of our top-17 not being available.
“I just want Sam to be himself and play the footy he can play. He has lovely hands and good intent carrying the ball and he is a good character around the group. He knows how to play footy, he is a good man and he has had a good impact on the group.”
There were also impressive performances from the likes of full-back Luke Hooley, winger David Fusitu’a, second-row James McDonnell and loose-forward Cameron Smith.
Read more: Peter Smith's Leeds Rhinos player ratings and report as Sam Lisone stars in 28-12 win at Hull FC
“It was a team performance,” Smith said. “We had a lot of young kids playing in that game and we had to play under pressure for a bit.
“It’s another week when there were some dubious calls, that didn’t sway the outcome, but I am so grateful there will be a replay available next year [when video refs will be at all games].
“There were a couple of decisions made there which influenced the flow of the game, which made it a good contest.
“I am grateful our young players are getting the opportunity to play under pressure. It will put them in good stead for the future.”
Fusitu’a was among Rhinos try scorers after returning from a back injury in place of Handley, who had been named in the initial squad.
Smith said: “Ash tried to get going yesterday [Friday] morning, but he wasn’t right. He is sort of a week-to-week proposition at this point in time.”
Macdonald joined Rhinos fro Leigh in pre-season and is contracted until the end of 2027. A Rhinos statement the day before the game revealed: “Nene Macdonald has remained in Australia following the birth of his child this week. The centre had been due to return this week and was included in the Rhinos initial 21 man squad to play Hull FC on Saturday afternoon.”
Smith said he heard on Thursday the player would not be back in time to face Hull, but asked why he had not returned as planned, the coach said: “I am awaiting more details on that one, but he was expected back in time to play.”
Pressed if there could be an impact on Macdonald’s future at Rhinos, Smith repeated: "I am awaiting more details, I think we’ll leave it there for now.”