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Former Leeds Rhinos’ star takes aim at Rohan Smith’s tactics and signings after heavy defeat

Leeds Rhinos

Leeds Rhinos lost once again tonight making it their third consecutive loss at Headingley this season and now a former player has hit out at two of Rohan Smith’s major signings.

Blake Austin left Leeds Rhinos at the end of the 2023 season with a bit of a cloud hanging above him, the half-back having been loaned to Castleford Tigers late in the year despite the Rhinos having half-back problems of their own.

Austin seemingly wasn’t offered a contract extension and returned home to Australia where he signed for a lower-level side, ending his five-year stay in England.

After Leeds’ heavy 34-8 defeat to Warrington Wolves shown live on Sky Sports, Austin has taken to his social media to air his thoughts on the current state of the Rhinos and in particular Rohan Smith’s signings.

Posting on Instagram, Austin said: “Jarrod O’Connor is still Leeds best 9, Brodie Croft struggling in a smith system, likes halves to play like backrowers and if your (sic) not willing to yardage carry as a half the game can pass you by. Croft largely unsighted.”

Austin posted on his Instagram story and an attached screenshot can be seen at the bottom of the article.

It was Brodie Croft who replaced Austin in effect with the ex-Salford man taking Austin’s number six shirt when he arrived alongside Andy Ackers in a double swoop deal for the Rhinos.

Austin has also seemingly taken a shot at Ackers by arguing that Jarrod O’Connor is the club’s best hooker despite Ackers being an established England international.

It’s a damning indictment of Rohan Smith’s system if it’s to be taken at face value but there is the fact that Austin did leave on what appeared to be bad terms at the end of last season.

Regardless, something isn’t clicking at Leeds Rhinos at present with the club unable to consistently string together halves of rugby, never mind games.

The Rhinos will have a week off to recuperate and hopefully get some bodies back through injury or suspension before they face Huddersfield Giants in what looks like a must-win game at Headingley.

Defeat to the Giants would mark the Rhinos’ fourth in Super League and would also be their fourth straight home loss, something that fans of the club surely won’t accept.

Leeds Rhinos

Source: Blake Austin’s Instagram story



  1. Glenn Waterworth

    April 7, 2024 at 1:01 pm

    Blake is spot on with his comments. It is what we said on our way home inthe car

  2. Anonymous

    April 8, 2024 at 9:18 pm

    Smith is a very poor coach, its about time we looked at English coach’s instead of second grade foreigners.

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