Blake Austin: Daryl Powell explains why Warrington Wolves must be wary of in-form Leeds Rhinos star

Josh McAllister
Blake Austin in action for Leeds at Headingley Stadium.

Blake Austin in action for Leeds at Headingley Stadium. Photo by Martin Rickett/PA Wire/PA Images.

Warrington head coach Daryl Powell admits his side will have to be defensively aggressive to contain Leeds playmaker Blake Austin on Thursday night in Super League. 

The 32-year-old Australian half-back picked up the Player of the Match award following Leeds’ 54-0 thrashing over Huddersfield last week at Headingley Stadium.

Austin produced two try assists and played a big part in Leeds’ best performance of the season, resulting in their seventh win in Super League in a step closer to the play-offs.

With one try to his name so far in 2023, Austin has a total tally of 14 assists – the fourth most in the competition – and 10 clean breaks.

Austin, whose future is currently up in the air at Headingley Stadium, initially made the switch to Super League with Warrington back in 2019 from Canberra Raiders, going on to score 33 tries in 67 appearances under then-coach Steve Price.

Blake Austin is ‘really challenging defences’ says Warrington coach

“He’s running a lot, isn’t he? And he’s talking about starting games aggressively, so we need to be aggressive defensively around him,” Powell told Love Rugby League.

“He’s got a big left foot step, he’s really challenging defences at the moment and he’s got Aidan Sezer back with him.”

Warrington head into the Super League Round 17 clash following back-to-back defeats, having been knocked out of the Challenge Cup by 12-man Wigan before falling to a 23-14 score to Castleford at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.

Powell’s side remain second on the Super League table with 22 points behind Catalans, while Wigan, Leigh and Salford have all claimed 10 wins so far in 2023 in the first 16 rounds.

The Rhinos are now just two points behind St Helens, who take the last spot in the play-offs.

Warrington and Leeds meet on Thursday night live on Sky Sports with an 8:00pm kick-off from the Halliwell Jones Stadium.

“They’ve had a tough period themselves and came out of that last week,” Powell said on Leeds.

“It should be a good game and for us it’s about concentrating on what we’re doing, completing high, kicking well and defending well and giving ourselves a chance to get into this game and put Leeds under some pressure.”

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