MATCH-WINNER Luke Briscoe hopes to secure a long-term deal with Leeds Rhinos as he enjoys his most successful spell yet in the team.
The 22-year-old scored the only try of the game as they defeated Salford Red Devils 8-0 on Friday night, a first win in eight matches for the struggling champions.
Briscoe has played five of the last seven games in Rhinos colours, which represents his best stint for them so far.
With elder brother Tom, the England winger, and Ryan Hall both out injured, he has gained some unexpected game time.
Briscoe’s future looked shrouded in uncertainty after he suffered cruciate ligament damage while with Hunslet Hawks last term.
He scored seven tries in 17 games there before injury struck last June and was a free agent as he made his recovery before Leeds re-signed him in April to help ease their injury crisis.
“It was all up and down,” recalled the player, who originally signed from Hull FC in 2012.
“I was just coming back from a knee reconstruction and I spoke with Brian (McDermott).
“The next thing Gary (Hetherington) wanted me to sign here, I played and kicked on from there.
“It’s going well. It was a difficult period before, but that’s part of rugby.
“You have got to take chances when you have them.
“I was trying my hardest to get another contract and obviously that worked as I’ve got one until the end of the year.
“Hopefully I’ll get another. I’m playing well and that’s my main goal.
“Hopefully I’ll crack on and get another deal for the next few years.”
Briscoe made a try-scoring debut for Leeds in 2014 and featured twice more off the bench that season having played twice on loan with Wakefield earlier in the year.
This time around, he has played two games on dual-registration for Featherstone Rovers, but featured for Rhinos more heavily – twice against Huddersfield Giants, in the 40-8 home loss to Wigan, the 24-12 defeat to Catalans Dragons and, latterly, that much-needed win against Salford.
“It was definitely good to get that victory,” added Briscoe, as Leeds ended a seven-game losing sequence.
“It’s a stepping stone forward for us. Obviously, it was not the best performance we’ve had, but we’ve got to build on top of that now.
“It was good to get that try – it always is – but it’s all about the team and good to get a win as well.”
Still rooted to the foot of the table, Leeds now hope to string two wins together for the first time in 2016.
“It’s massive that we do do that,” added Briscoe.
“But we’ve had a good start to this week and the lads will just keep building. We have a bit of confidence in ourselves now and hopefully we’ll kick in from there.
“I was at Wakefield myself a couple of years ago – it seems I’ve been around a while! – but it’ll be good to go there and get another win with the boys,” he added.
England winger Hall could return to action for the first-time since mid-March when Leeds head to Wakefield on Friday so Briscoe may miss out. He will not be deterred in his bid to establish himself, though, and still has the long-term ambition of lining up alongside his sibling more often.
“I’ve played once with Tom against Bradford a couple of years ago,” said Featherstone-born Briscoe.
“That’s obviously a big goal to play with my brother again.
“Hopefully we’ll kick on and play some more together in Leeds Rhinos’ colours.”