Leeds Rhinos youngster Jack Broadbent hopes to keep up winning habit in home Super League clash with St Helens
Winning in front of fans was a new experience for Leeds Rhinos rookie Jack Broadbent and he is keen to make it a habit.
The 60-6 win at Castleford Tigers 11 days ago was the first time Broadbent had played in a victorious Rhinos side with a crowd in the stadium.
And, if selected, this Friday’s visit of St Helens will be his maiden appearance in front of fans at Emerald Headingley.
“It was the first time I’ve played in the first team when we’ve got a convincing win,” the 20-year-old back recalled of the derby against Tigers.
“It was my first taste of winning rugby really, when you know you’ve got it in the bag and you can just enjoy the game.”
There were some Leeds supporters at the Jungle and Broadbent added: “They came in numbers and my mum and girlfriend managed to get tickets so it was special to get to play in front of them for the first time, because when we were at home to Hull [Leeds’ first game this year with a crowd] I was a bit gutted I got dropped.
“It was the only game this year I haven’t played in, so I want to make sure I play this week.
“I am trying my best to get in the team this week, it all depends on a couple of players coming back from injury, but I am just trying to play consistently, week-in and week-out, to hopefully keep my spot.”
Having played at stand-off and centre for Rhinos last season, the former Batley Boys junior has turned out in the centres, at full-back and on the left-wing in 2021.
The game against Tigers was his first for Leeds as a winger and he recalled: “I don’t think there’s a better position to be in our team than the left-edge, with the way Galey [Luke Gale] has been attacking and Richie Myler as well.
“I enjoyed it on the wing; it’s not the first time, I played there [on loan] at Featherstone a couple of times and I am not bothered where I play, just as long as I am playing.”
Leeds will need a similar performance this week to end their seven-game losing run to Saints, but will take confidence from a battling effort against them in the Betfred Challenge Cup two months ago.
Saints have lost only once this year, are top of the table and preparing for a Wembley showdown with Castleford next month.
Rhinos, with a scratch side, gave them a fright in the 26-18 Cup defeat - despite having Zane Tetevano sent-off - and Broadbent reckons they can turn that result around on Friday.
“Saints are a totally different team to Castleford so we’ll be playing a different style of rugby and a different game plan,” Broadbent said.
“I think we owe them, really.
“Last time we played them we had a load of injuries and we came up short, but after that game we thought we could beat them next time and we know what we need to do to get the win.”
This week is round nine and Leeds need to start getting wins on the board if they are going to push for a place in the top-six play-offs.
Broadbent said; “We have been in every game we’ve played, but come short.
“That’s the difference between being a middle team and a top-two or -three team.
“We have got to get those tight games.
“We will learn from it, we have been in tight games and I think we are getting better at it.
“I don’t think we’ve not been consistent, we’ve just been on the wrong side of results and we need to fix that up.”