YOUNG FULL-BACK Ashton Golding says he won’t let this season’s injury woes get him down.
Golding has been struggling with hamstring problems, but is hoping to return when Rhinos play host to St Helens tomorrow.
He missed three games earlier in the campaign and – after four matches back in the side – was sidelined again with an injury to his other leg.
After two games out of action he made a comeback in Leeds’ win at Wakefield earlier this month, but then had to sit out the next two.
That has added up to a frustrating few months for the 20-year-old, but he insisted he is keeping his chin up and is ready to make an impact in the Betfred Super-8s.
“It is what it is,” he said of the recent setbacks. “I can only do everything with a smile on my face.
I could get down and grumpy about it, but it wouldn’t make it heal any quicker. I can only do the hard work and get back on the field as soon as I can.Leeds Rhinos’ Ashton Golding
“I could get down and grumpy about it, but it wouldn’t make it heal any quicker.
“I can only do the hard work and get back on the field as soon as I can.”
Golding said it is “hard to say” if his return against Trinity was a mistake.
“It was a decision I made,” he stressed. “Whether it was right or wrong, I made it and we got the two points so in my opinion it was the right thing to do for the team at the time.”
Golding has been named in Rhinos’ initial 19-man squad for tomorrow’s game and said he is keen to get back on the field.
His return would allow stand-in full-back Liam Sutcliffe to move to centre, with Ryan Hall reverting to the wing.
“I want to get some games under my belt now and really kick on,” Golding said.
“We are in the top-four and we want to cement that.
“Wakefield are only two points behind us and they’ll be fighting to get in there as well.
“It’s a good tussle at the top and we want to put in some good performances now to make sure we stay up there.”
Rhinos have four games left before the competition splits into Super-8s and Qualifiers.
After tomorrow they travel to third-placed Salford Red Devils, play host to Hull – currently second – in a Challenge Cup semi-final rehearsal and then end the regular season at champions Wigan Warriors.
“I want to be getting some games now and a bit of cohesion with the boys,” Golding said. “We need to work on some interplay and getting our defence on point building up to the Cup semi-final and the play-offs.”
Saints are sixth and a Leeds win tomorrow would virtually end their hopes of gaining four home games in the Super-8s.
“It is the same every time you play Saints, regardless of form,” Golding said.
“Both teams always bring their A-game and it can only make for a great game of rugby. We play a style of rugby that’s a bit unorthodox. Not many people play that style, but it works for us.
“They play a completely different style.
“I think it will come down to defence, like it did in the first game of the year.
“I remember Tommy Makinson coming across and taking Sutty [Liam Sutcliffe] out and that’s what probably clinched the win.”