Leeds Rhinos: Briscoe is backing himself on try front after breaking duck

Tom Briscoe crosses the Huddersfield line for his first try of the season. PIC: Bruce Rollinson
Tom Briscoe crosses the Huddersfield line for his first try of the season. PIC: Bruce Rollinson
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ONE TRY will lead to many more, Leeds Rhinos winger Tom Briscoe believes.

Briscoe broke his duck for the season, at the sixth attempt, with a touchdown in last Friday’s 28-12 win at Huddersfield Giants.

Tom Briscoe

Tom Briscoe

It was a morale-boosting moment for the former England man and he is looking to get over the whitewash on a regular basis from now on, beginning with tonight’s visit of Wigan Warriors.

“It’s nice to get that ticked off and hopefully there’s a few more to come over the next couple of weeks,” Briscoe said of his first try.

“I am pretty happy with where I am at at the minute.

“Obviously there’s room for improvement in certain areas, but I am happy with the way I am going and I just want to keep improving.”

Ashton Golding

Ashton Golding

Both wingers got on the scoresheet last week and Briscoe reckons that is a sign Rhinos’ attack is finally getting into gear.

Leeds have scored 112 points in their last three matches – since the notorious 66-10 drubbing at Castleford Tigers – after managing only 51 in their opening four games.

Briscoe, who was left out of the side to face Castleford, said: “In the first few games we were struggling a bit, but since the Cas game we seem to have clicked a bit better and we’ve scored some good tries.

“It is looking a lot better than where it was at the start of the season and defensively we have been quite strong.

“That’s one thing we have been priding ourselves on.

“Barring the Cas game, I think we’ve managed to keep teams to low scores and that’s pleasing.

“The try-savers Ashton [Golding] is known for at the back have really helped us and I think we are happy with where our defence is at at the minute.”

Golding, 20, is ever-present this year. He inherited the No 1 jersey from departed former Man of Steel Zak Hardaker and was preferred at full-back to Liam Sutcliffe, who played there in the second half of last season.

The youngster has distinguished himself with his last-ditch defence and Briscoe sees the Stanningley product as an exciting talent.

“In pre-season and the season so far he has shown what he can do,” Briscoe said.

“It is no surprise how well he has shown up and I think he is only going to get better.

“He has not played that many games and the more game time he can get the more he will keep improving.”

Golding and the rest of Rhinos’ defence is likely to be put under huge pressure tonight by a Wigan team looking to end a run of two Super League games without a win.

The defending champions have slipped to fourth in the table following a draw with Huddersfield Giants and last Friday’s loss to Hull, both on their own ground.

They are unbeaten on their travels and have players returning from injury and Briscoe warned: “They always play well against Leeds and whether they’ve got injuries or not we know it is going to be a tough game.

“We are not looking into what’s happening with them, we are concentrating on ourselves and we are going into this like any other game.

“We can be confident. I think it has been a good season so far.

“A lot has been made of the Cas game, but barring that we’ve won most of our games and we are in a good spot.

“We pushed Saints all the way in our first game and we’ve just had that one blip at Cas.

“We are quite happy with where we are at the minute and we will keep improving.”

Despite three successive victories, Briscoe admitted Leeds aren’t yet at their best.

“There’s still things to work on,” he stressed.

“During games we are making silly errors and giving some penalties away on the last tackle and things like that.

“The more we can get those out of our game, the better we will be.”

Rhinos began Betfred Super League round seven in third place, one point ahead of Wigan and behind Castleford and Hull on for and against, though they have played one more game.

Ten points from their final 16 rounds in the regular season should be enough to secure a top-eight spot and avoid a second successive battle against relegation in the Qualifiers, but Briscoe insisted nobody in Leeds’ camp is focusing on the table just yet.

“It’s nice to be up there, especially after last year,” Briscoe reflected.

“It’s not good to be at the other end of the table.

“We are where we deserve to be at the minute, but it is too early in the season to be looking at the table.

“A lot can change. It’s 23 rounds before the league splits so it is nice to be up there, but I think the more important thing is the way we are playing and making sure we keep ticking off the wins.”

Rhinos’ under-19s are in action tomorrow when they face City of Hull Academy at Bishop Burton.

The game has been brought forward to a noon kick-off.

Leeds Rhinos: from Golding, Briscoe, Watkins, Moon, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Parcell, Cuthbertson, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Sutcliffe, Delaney, Garbutt, Keinhorst, Ferres, Mullally, Walters, Handley.

Wigan Warriors: from Clubb, Davies, Escare, Farrell, Flower, Forsyth, Gelling, Gildart, Gregson, Isa, Leuluai, Marshall, Navarrete, Nuuausala, Powell, Sutton, Tautai, J Tomkins, Williams.

Referee: Ben Thaler (Wakefield).

Kick-off: Tonight, 8pm.

Danny McGuire second try against Huddersfield (Picture: Steve Riding)

Leeds Rhinos captain Danny McGuire refusing to bow out quietly