Today, there’s a lot of positive talk around Leeds Rhinos and rightly so.
The Rhinos ran in 11 tries as they beat Hull FC 62-16 with the headline act being Ash Handley who scored five tries becoming only the fourth Leeds player in Super League history to do so.
Danny McGuire was the first in 2004 and he repeated the feat in 2012 at the Magic Weekend against Bradford. Then in 2005, Ali Lauitiiti scored five away at Wakefield before in 2009 Ryan Hall scored five in a thrashing of Castleford at Headingley.
But Ash Handley was not the only member of the Leeds Rhinos 2022 squad to score tries for fun today, Jack Broadbent did so too but playing for Featherstone where he’ll see out the rest of the season before joining Castleford in 2023.
The versatile outside back made his debut in 2020 and was a key player for the Rhinos last season playing fullback, wing and centre and scoring plenty of tries including four in one game against Leigh Centurions at Headingley.
After that and the departure of Konrad Hurrell many wanted him to take over at left centre this year but he immediately found himself down the pecking order with Liam Sutcliffe and Tom Briscoe ahead of him. Meanwhile, when a spot opened up on the wing in Round Two he seemed destined to take it but the spot was instead given to Liam Tindall.
He did eventually get some chances but 17-year-old Max Simpson would be picked ahead of him at times. It’s a mystery what prompted his fall down the pecking order but his decision to leave won’t have helped matters with Alex Sutcliffe making the same choice last season and founding himself left out of the side for virtually the rest of the season.
So, at Featherstone Broadbent has a chance to make the most of 2022 and is doing so scoring four tries in today’s win over Newcastle Thunder.
His importance will likely become even more after Mark Kheirallah picked up an injury today which forced him from the field in the first half.
The Rovers went on to win 56-22 but it highlighted again the quality Broadbent especially in terms of try scoring. Based on today, Leeds aren’t lacking try scorers but earlier evidence this season suggests otherwise.
Either way a player of his quality – based on this showing – is one Leeds may miss now and in the future.