Leeds Rhinos: Jack Broadbent says fifth place in Super League is 'massive achievement' but Old Trafford remains ultimate target
Rookie back Jack Broadbent believes Leeds Rhinos are capable of going all the way to Old Trafford in the Betfred Super League play-offs.
Last week’s 36-12 win over Hull KR sealed fifth spot in the final table, which Broadbent reckons is a “massive” achievement after all the adversity they have faced this year.
Rhinos now face a trip to Wigan, who were fourth, in the opening round of the play-offs on Thursday evening.
“If you think about some of the hardships we’ve had and the way we’ve stuck together through everything that’s been thrown at us, I think it’s a massive achievement,” Broadbent said of Leeds’ second-successive top-six finish.
“It shows we are ready for play-off footy.
“Leeds are renowned for getting the last four weeks of the season right. We want to be as ruthless as we can and we think we can go all the way. We went to Wigan [a month ago] and kept them scoreless; not many teams do that.
“We are full of confidence going into this game and we’re not bothered who we play - we’ve gone away to Warrington and won and gone away to Wigan and won. We just feel like we can get the job done, no matter who we are playing.
Rhinos had prepared for the Hull KR game to be a ‘do or die’.
Castleford Tigers’ defeat the previous evening meant Leeds had already qualified for the play-offs before kick-off, but Broadbent said Leeds have effectively been playing sudden-death rugby for several weeks.
“We didn’t want to go to play Wigan or Warrington after a loss,” he said. “We can find little things to build on, but we’ve got a base to kick on from.
“I thought we controlled the game really well - they threw everything at us for the best part of the last 20 minutes - but we handled it really well.
“They got a late try and I think we could have stopped it; we will look at that.
“The other one, I think we were a bit guilty in the first half - me included - of trying to play the way they play and getting drawn into their game. We threw the ball when it wasn’t on and there were a few interceptions.
“We know going into the play-offs we have to get them on the next play and keep hold of the ball. When we did keep hold of it, Tommy Holroyd went under the sticks and we showed what we can do.”
Broadbent is three games into his comeback from a two-month injury lay-off.
Since his return, he has been listed at full-back on the teamsheet, but shared roles with Richie Myler, who has been named at scrum-half.
“I feel like having Rob Lui there [at stand-off], he really helps me keep it simple,” Broadbent said of switching between the halves and full-back.
“We are both pretty similar players, we want to run the ball and I think, at the moment, we are complementing each other well.”
The win over Hull KR was Broadbent’s 14th game of this season, a total well beyond his expectations at the start of the year.
“I don’t know how many positions I’ve played, maybe four or five different roles,” he said.
“Having that utility value can get you game time. If I was an out-and-out centre, I probably wouldn’t be playing in these games because we’ve got three strong centres back available.
“That versatility is getting me a spot in the team and it’s something I’ll try and keep and build on.
“Game time is always good for you as a player. I didn’t play my best game against St Helens [two games ago], but I worked hard in the week and feel like I made some improvements and I just want to keep building on that.”
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