BLAKE Austin says he underestimated the physical side of playing in Super League.

The Wire stand-off has sparkled this season – leading the way in the try-scoring charts and the Steve Prescott MBE Man of Steel standings – but has often been targeted physically by opposition teams.

He admits that is the main thing that has surprised him about playing in England but says he is enjoying it nonetheless.

“It’s a different game here – it’s certainly a bit more brutal,” he said.

“There’s a little bit less method to the madness and you’re copping knocks that you wouldn’t back home.

“Blokes are out to smash people whereas it’s a bit more methodical in the NRL and you have to play your role.

“I probably underestimated that side of it – I’m waking up sore after games, that’s for sure.

“I’m really enjoying it though – it’s going well and we’ve got a good bunch of blokes that are driven to success.”

Warrington Guardian:

Blake Austin looks for a way through the Hull FC defence on Saturday. Picture by Mike Boden

Perhaps naturally, Austin’s half-back partnership with Declan Patton has come under scrutiny from observers and supporters.

Patton has come in for criticism from the terraces at times but Austin is happy with how their link-up is going.

However, while he admits the partnership is still a work in progress, the 28-year-old says they will have to be “somewhere near” the finished product in the coming weeks.

“It’s getting there with me and Dec,” he said.

“We’re only halfway through and like any halves partnership, it’s a work in progress.

“It’s not about being the finished product yet but we’re going to have to be somewhere near that in the next five to six weeks.

“The fans are certainly a lot more boisterous over here. We really appreciate their support, but Dec only needs to worry about what’s said indoors.

“We’re happy with how he’s travelling and he’s doing a really good job for us.

“We’ll keep backing Dec and blocking out that outside noise.”

Warrington Guardian:

Dec Patton has been backed by Austin. Picture by Mike Boden

Austin was a try-scorer against Hull FC on Saturday but could not stop The Wire from slipping to a 19-12 defeat – their fourth of the campaign.

The result puts them six points behind leaders St Helens but Austin says not too much focus is being put on reeling their neighbours in.

“We’re disappointed with how the game turned out, but it’s a long season and things like that can happen,” he said.

“We’ve dissected it and have been really honest about it amongst ourselves.

“We’ve got to give Hull FC full credit – they came and did a real good job on us.

“It’s about learning from it, putting it to bed and moving on.

“We wouldn’t be sitting where we are if teams had figured us out. We’re four points clear of teams underneath but unfortunately we’re a few behind the team on top.

“We haven’t quite nailed our style of footy yet but we’re comfortable with how we’re travelling.

“Whether we catch St Helens or not, I think it’s a bit irrelevant. It would be great if we did, but it’s not an issue.

“We’ve got to be there come finals time and once we’re there, it’s about having a brand of footy that’s going to bring you some success.”

Warrington Guardian:

Austin scores against Hull FC. Picture by Mike Boden

Austin will experience Magic Weekend for the first time on Saturday as The Wire take on Wigan Warriors at Anfield, which is hosting the event for the first time.

He says playing at Magic Weekend was one of the things he was most looking forward when it came to playing in England.

“It’s a great concept – that’s why they’ve adopted it back home,” he said.

“It’s such a great idea to all converge on one stadium for one weekend.

“To do it at a stadium like Anfield as well – it’s had a mixed reception but I really hope the fans get behind it.

“One thing I’ve learned pretty quickly is that Wigan will always be up for a match against Warrington and this weekend will be no different.

“We’re under no illusions – every game will be tough and if we’re not at our best, they will be tougher.”