Tom Briscoe: Leeds Rhinos in positive mood ahead of Wigan Warriors test

Leeds Rhinos are lacking points, but not positives, ahead of Friday’s trip to Wigan Warriors, long-serving back Tom Briscoe says.

By Peter Smith
Thursday, 17th February 2022, 8:58 am

Leeds will be looking to bounce back from their Betfred Super League round one loss to Warrington Wolves, when they had James Bentley sent-off in the first half, Brad Dwyer sin-binned and lost Richie Myler and David Fusitu’a to injury.

Despite that, Rhinos led by 10 points in the second half and it took Warrington until less than seven minutes from time to take a decisive two-point advantage.

Briscoe admitted it was a tough result to take after Rhinos had put so much into the game, but reckons they will be a match for any opposition if they can produce a similar performance every week.

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Tom Briscoe is tackled in the defeat by Warrington. Picture by Tony Johnson.

Briscoe said: “The emotion of the game and how we lost at the back end of the second half is disappointing and hard to take, but I think we can take a lot from that game.

“The desire and the heart from everybody and our effort to cover each other, if we can harness that and take that into this week - and tidy up a bit of discipline, not put ourselves on the back foot and under a lot of pressure - we’ll put ourselves in a good position to challenge anyone.”

Rhinos have not suffered a significant injury in training since pre-season began last November, but have lost five players in warm-up games and round one.

Tom Holroyd is in a protective boot after an operation on a foot injury and Sam Walters (shoulder) has also undergone surgery.

Tom Briscoe scoring against his hometown club Featherstone Rovers in pre-season. Picture by Tony Johnson.

Harry Newman missed last weekend’s opener - when Blake Austin was suspended - because of a groin strain and Leeds lost Myler early on to a groin injury and Fusitu’a who failed a head injury assessment at half-time.

Briscoe felt Rhinos “did it tough” against Warrington, but stressed having to cope with adversity and the loss of key players is nothing new.

“That’s how it seems to be every year and we’ve just got to deal with that,” he said.

“We’ve had a good pre-season and we’ve got a good squad as well.

Tom Briscoe. Picture by Steve Riding.

“Obviously you don’t want to be using your squad after round one, but we go again.

“We will get there, it is a long season and we’ve got good depth in our squad.

“Whoever steps in now will do a good job.”

Briscoe started against Warrington in his new role as centre, but reverted to the right-wing after Fusitu’a was ruled out of the second half.

Fusitu’a will miss Friday’s game under the sport’s mandatory concussion protocol and Leeds will also be without Myler as well as Bentley and Dwyer who were handed penalty notices by the match review panel.

Coach Richard Agar will name an initial squad today, but hooker Corey Johnson has already been recalled from his loan spell at Bradford Bulls and Briscoe said Rhinos aren’t looking for excuses.

“Everyone has been training really well,” Briscoe insisted.

“The young guys who are coming through are showing up really well.

“We are confident in whoever we put out this week.

“To go down to 11 men and still be challenging and putting in that effort is a good situation to be in.”

Switching positions wasn’t ideal, but of his own performance against Warrington, Briscoe reflected:

“I just tried to get involved, take my carries and do my job.

“I was happy with that.”

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