Leeds Rhinos: We’re turning a corner, insists Ash Handley
PROLIFIC WINGER Ash Handley has played down his own achievements this year, but reckons Leeds Rhinos are beginning to turn a corner.
With 12 touchdowns in 13 appearances, Handley is Betfred Super League’s joint-second highest try scorer, level with Josh Charnley and one behind another Warrington Wolves player Blake Austin.
That is impressive for a player from a team struggling at the wrong end of the table and Handley insisted helping Rhinos – who visit Salford Red Devils tonight – pull clear of the relegation zone is his only concern.
The 23-year-old bagged a brace in the 28-24 win over Hull KR five days ago and stressed: “It’s good to get over the line, but I’ll just keep doing my bit to help the team.”
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He said: “I am happy with myself at the minute, but I can always improve and do things a bit better.
“I watch my game every week and see what I can improve, but it’s just about doing everything I can to help the team, get us going forward and doing my best as I always do.”
Rhinos have won two of their last three league games and three from five after a run of seven defeats in the opening eight rounds.
They have climbed to 10th in the table, after being bottom before Easter, but Handley admitted they still aren’t closing games out when getting into a lead.Hull KR scored 24 unanswered points after Rhinos led 28-0 last weekend and Handley insisted: “We are just working hard and trying to put performances together.
“We are starting really strongly in games, but then just letting teams creep back in.
“We just need to work on that and then hopefully we will go well.”
He added: “We need to put a full 80-minute performance in just to be confident going forward.
“We can’t let teams back into games and be panicky towards the back end.
“We need to show we can perform for 80 minutes.”
Rhinos’ only away win this season was at Salford three months ago when Handley was among the try scorers in a 46-14 success.
“We want to be making Headingley a fortress again and winning games there, but on the road as well,” Handley stressed.
“We’ve got to pick up as many points as we can away from home.
“Hopefully we can build on these home performances and go to Salford and get a win.”
Inspired by half-back Jackson Hastings, Salford have won six of their 13 games so far and are began the round in seventh place.
Handley predicted: “It is going to be tough, but every game is tough in the position we are in.
“We just need to work hard for each other, come together as a team and try and put a performance in.”