Yesterday saw a wealth of reserves rugby league give important minutes to Super League stars not currently playing first team rugby.
The likes of Mason Lino, Louis Senior and Michael Lawrence all figured but the standout performer was undoubtedly Jack Broadbent.
The Rhinos centre scored a hat-trick as Leeds’ reserves blew Bradford’s apart. The star of the show, many have felt Broadbent has been unlucky to not to feature for Leeds’ first team so far this season.
Broadbent stepped up in 2021 during Leeds’ injury crisis scoring seven tries in just four games at one stage last season and poached four tries in one game against Leigh at Headingley.
He also poached a lovely try at the Magic Weekend in a huge game in the play-off race against Hull FC. But, despite the injury to Harry Newman, Broadbent has been behind Tom Briscoe and Liam Sutcliffe when it comes to playing centre this year.
An opportunity appeared to open up on the wing when David Fusitu’a got injured, after all Braodbent played very well on the wing last season, but instead the Batley born back has had to sit on and watch Liam Tindall play ahead of him.
So, yesterday in the reserves, it was Broadbent’s first opportunity since the start of 2022 to get some minutes under his belt as well as prove to coach Richard Agar that he should be considered for the first 17 and he certainly did so by scoring a hat-trick in the win over Bradford.
After the game, the centre spoke honestly about his thoughts on reserve grade rugby in an interview with the Rhinos YouTube channel.
He said: “Obviously I didn’t get to play first team this week so coming to play a standard like this is good and you get to see the up and coming talents who could be in the first team next year and I think a few of them have put performances in that were really good.”
He then went on to identified the youngsters who caught his eye during the performance: “Joe Hird, the captain, led by example. I’m on the pitch thinking ‘who’s this kid’ you know? He was outstanding.
“Some of the other youngsters, Jack Sinfield, Levi [Edwards], Max [Simpson] could play in the first team and stood up well.”
Alongside these youngsters were a number of players from other clubs including a trio from the Featherstone Rovers and Oli Burton from Batley. On their performance, Broadbent said: “They fit in effortlessly. When you’re given a simple game plan players like Tom Holmes and Kyle Trout know what they’re doing and it’s just simple for them”