Why Blake Austin’s performance for Leeds Rhinos against Warrington Wolves was more impressive than you think

Last night Blake Austin made his first appearance against former club Warrington Wolves.

The former Man of Steel nominee missed the opening round fixture between new club Leeds and former club Warrington who let the halfback go after they signed George Williams from Canberra Raiders.

It’s fair to say it couldn’t have gone better for Austin against his former side as Leeds battered the Wolves 40-4 with Austin playing a key role in Leeds’ fourth try of the night as his kick out wide paved the way for James Donaldson to score.

Austin has been quietly improving week on week at Leeds after a rough start to life at Headingley and made the Wolves rue letting him go with an accomplished performance which went under the radar as he helped steer Leeds round the field and to their best attacking display of the season.

However, what made his performance even more impressive was a revelation from his coach Rohan Smith after the game.

Smith revealed that Austin had been battling with a stomach bug throughout the week which is why he was withdrawn early which saw Kruise Leeming take over at six.

Smith said: “Yeah he’s had a bit of a bug, a tummy bug during the week. He was fine, it gave us the chance to give Kruise a few minutes in the halves there and some extended times for Dwyer at dummy half.”

A very astute performance from Austin – complete with some signature high bombs from the halfback – made even more impressive by what he’s been through this week.

In fact the whole Leeds spine were excellent as Kruise Leeming, Richie Myler and Zak Hardaker all shone.

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