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Super League star set to be out for “weeks”

Despite being on the wrong end of the scoreline in a terrific Challenge Cup clash, Leeds Rhinos boss believed his side’s battle with Wigan Warriors was a brilliant game.

“I thought it was a terrific contest, an open game in great conditions,” Smith said after the match.

“Both teams attacked it and it could have gone either way and very nearly did.

“That was a good game. You know as a fan and as a supporter, if you follow rugby league you can be disappointed with the result but recognise a good game of footy between two good teams competing for the first step of a big prize.

“I am proud of the effort of some of our players.”

Perhaps Leeds fans will say the Rhinos would have won with Ash Handley and Blake Austin in the side who were late withdrawals and Smith explained the situation with the two:

“Austo trained fully on Thursday and had a scan on Friday after he felt a bit ginger, he didn’t feel right so we trained without him yesterday but we weren’t quite sure until last night.

“Ash Handley was ill and we gave him as long as possible but he just wasn’t in the right state to compete in a game like that, that was a very late withdrawal.”

He then revealed that Austin could spend up to a month on the sidelines:

“Blake will be one of those two to four week kind of things.”

In terms of other injuries, Smith said: “I think we’re okay. There are the usual bumps and bruises which will be assessed right now.”

Lastly, he also addressed Cameron Smith’s limp late on:

“He had a bit of cramp there, we had an interchange to use and there is no point having someone limping around.”

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