Leeds Rhinos: Ash Handley’s revelling in partnership with Konrad Hurrell

Konrad Hurrell and Ash Handley.Konrad Hurrell and Ash Handley.
Konrad Hurrell and Ash Handley.
LEADING TRY scorer Ash Handley has finally been able to reflect with pride on his personal achievements for Leeds Rhinos this year.

Handley’s touchdown against Castleford Tigers last week was his ninth of the season and he has only failed to cross the whitewash in three games so far.

But his try-a-match average has been overshadowed by Leeds’ poor form and Handley insisted the two points from the 21-20 golden-point conquering of Tigers was what mattered rather than extending his own prolific run.

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“I’ve just got to do my job and put the ball over the line when I need to,” said the 22-year-old who inherited the number five jersey when club legend Ryan Hall moved to Australia to join Sydney Roosters.

Konrad Hurrell gets away from Paul McShane.Konrad Hurrell gets away from Paul McShane.
Konrad Hurrell gets away from Paul McShane.

“I will do anything for the team.”

Konrad Hurrell, who is Super League’s leading metre-maker, has been the source of most of Handley’s tries.

And the England Knights winger admitted playing alongside one of the world’s most powerful centres has made his own situation that bit easier. He said: “Konny is helping me out a lot.

“He is really good, he attracts players to him and he gives me a lot of space outside him.

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Dave Furner.Dave Furner.
Dave Furner.

“We are linking up really well. It’s great to be partnering him on that left side.

“It’s a good partnership, we’ve got good cohesion with each other and I am really enjoying it at the minute.”

Last week’s win was only Rhinos’ second of the season, in their ninth Betfred Super League fixture. It ended a five-match losing run and, according to Handley, will send them into this Thursday’s crunch game at fellow strugglers Hull KR in good heart.

“We just needed a win,” he reflected.

“We had to get over the line, we did it the hard way like we always do, but we will take a lot of confidence from that.

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“We’ve got to go to Hull KR this week and try and do a job on them.

“They are getting a few players back and it’s always a tough place to go.

“Everyone picks up their game against Leeds, but we’ll have a good week’s training and hopefully do ourselves proud.”

Rhinos squandered a lead in six of their seven defeats this year and it looked like history was repeating itself when Tigers hit back from 20-4 down to level the scores late in the second half.

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That sort of collapse is something they need to cut out of their game, but Handley reckons last week’s finale – and coach Dave Furner’s reaction – will live long in the memory. “It was a bit of madness,” he said of the late drama. “We felt comfortable with 25 minutes to go and then, as we have done the last few weeks, we let them back in and we were struggling a bit.

“But we managed to hold on at the back end of the game and nobody could quite believe it when Brad [Dwyer] knocked the drop goal over from 40 metres.

“We’ve all seen the video of Furnsy – he screams ‘noooooo’ and then jumps up because it’s gone over. It was class.”