Leeds Rhinos' Blake Austin reveals his pride in 'little brother' Jack Sinfield

Leeds Rhinos stand-off Blake Austin has reflected on his first competitive win at Headingley, excitement at the arrival of new boss Rohan Smith and delight over the emergence of “little brother” Jack Sinfield.

By Peter Smith
Tuesday, 3rd May 2022, 11:05 am

Austin missed the previous week’s win over Toulouse Olympique because of a head injury, but was at the heart of the 12-0 success against Hull KR last Friday which lifted Rhinos two places to ninth in Betfred Super League.

It was a big moment for Austin personally and he felt, with 13 players missing through injury or suspension, to get a win was an outstanding achievement for the team.

He said: “It was my first competition win at Headingley so it was really pleasing.

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Blake Austin on the attack for Rhinos against Hull KR. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.

“It is probably the most patched together we have been all year.

“Some people will say we only scored 12 points, but I think with the troops we’ve got, we have had to come to games to not lose before we can think about winning.

“We have been able to do that the last few weeks, we’ve been right in the match - up to our eyeballs - and as we get the troops back it is going to look more polished and hopefully bring a bit more joy with our attacking side of the game for the fans.”

Rhinos will have Zane Tetevano and James Bentley available following suspension when they visit Salford Red Devils on May 15 and several of their injured players could also be back in contention.

Jack Sinfield. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.

Austin said: “A lot has been spoken about how ordinary our year has gone, but I don’t think we’ve put the same team out twice.

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The Australian-born former Great Britain international said he is excited to work with new coach Rohan Smith, who arrived yesterday.

“I think he’s a really good appointment,” Austin stated.

New Rhinos coach Rohan Smith. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.

“I think a young, hungry coach with a lot of ambition is what the club needed.

“He is going to come in to put his stamp on the place and we are all very excited about new beginnings.

“On the back of two wins, it is only going to be good things.”

Austin also revealed he is a big fan of youngster Jack Sinfield, who has played in Leeds’ last three matches.

He said: “Seventeen years old - I think back and I was still in high school.

“My parents were dropping me at school.

“You can’t even judge him yet, it is so unbelievable he is out there. Me and Seez [fellow half-back Aidan Sezer] have had a lot to do with Jack in pre-season and you feel like it’s your little brother out there with you.

“Anything he learns now is only going to be of benefit so I am really happy for him.”

Austin also had praise for the Rhinos fans who he felt contributed to last Friday’s victory.

“The atmosphere, in what has been a very tough year, has been good every week,” he said.

“It was my first win there and it’s not a bad place when you’re winning.

“It is going to be a good 10 days off, the weeks go a bit smoother when you’ve won, so it’s really exciting.”