Castleford v Leeds Rhinos: Handley is aiming for sixth game on the spin

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EASTER IS a chance for Leeds Rhinos to resurrect their season, according to winger Ash Handley.

Rhinos will climb into First Utility Super League’s top eight for the first time this season if they win at Castleford Tigers tonight.

Ash Handley.

Ash Handley.

They play host to bottom club Wakefield Trinity Wildcats on Monday and are at home again to another team below them on the ladder, Hull KR, four days later.

“We’ve got three games in quick succession and, hopefully, after last week’s win over St Helens we can push on and get a few more,” said Handley, who was one of the try scorers in last Friday’s 30-18 success.

“The team’s feeling a lot better about themselves at the moment. It was a good win last week and that boosted everyone’s confidence.

“Everyone’s feeling really good now and we just want to push on.

“We’ve had a good week’s training and, hopefully, we’ll come up with a performance again.”

Rhinos have won only twice in the league this year, but the attacking display against Saints was their best since August last year.

Of the champions’ recent run of performances, Handley said: “Everyone needs to get back into the swing of things. The season has only just started, but we are starting to look like we are getting things together and, hopefully, we can put a few wrong things right and kick on and turn the season around.”

Rhinos won when they visited the Jungle last Easter, but Tigers went on to record two victories at Headingley later in 2015.

Cas are on a three-game losing run, but Handley warned: “They are a tough team to play.

“We did quite well against them there last year, but we know it is going to be a tough game.

“We are prepared for that and, hopefully, we’ll do well.”

Leeds’ wingers will have their hands full tonight against Tigers’ prolific duo Joel Monaghan and Denny Solomona.

“They are doing well,” Handley said. “You always have to see what your opposition’s like, what sort of player they are and how you can play your game to try and stop what they are going to do.

“But I think it’s more about myself and how I am going to play. I will just concentrate on what I can do for us, rather than looking at anyone else.”

Handley has played five successive games since coming into the team to replace the injured Tom Briscoe after round two.

Briscoe is back in contention tonight, but Rhinos have a major doubt over Ryan Hall, who suffered an ankle injury against Saints.

“I am just getting another game under my belt every week,” Handley said. “I take a lot from it and it’s all experience for me. I am just enjoying it at the moment and, hopefully, I can kick on.”

Hall’s injury could mean a longer run for the 20-year-old, who scored 13 tries in 20 games last year.

“It’s disappointing for Hally,” said Handley, who has played on both the left and right flanks for Rhinos.

“But if he doesn’t make it I can step in again and, hopefully, do a job for the team.”

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