Leeds Rhinos: Briscoe is back on track after lean spell

Tom Briscoe
Tom Briscoe
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LEEDS RHINOS winger Tom Briscoe feels his performances are starting to come together.

Briscoe has bounced back from Rhinos’ Ladbrokes Challenge Cup defeat by Hull, when he struggled to cope under a series of high kicks, with a run of strong displays and reckons his – and the team’s - form is beginning to click at the right time.

“I am starting to get a bit more consistency in my game,” he said ahead of tomorrow’s derby at league leaders Castleford Tigers.

“That’s what I’ve been aiming for all year, but I am just happy to start getting that towards the end of the season.”

The 27-year-old former Hull man has scored eight tries in 29 games this term and has been praised by coach Brian McDermott for his response to the semi-final trauma.

“I was massively disappointed,” he admitted of the Cup game in July.

“Obviously to have that game in a semi-final is hard to take and part of why we lost really, but I am glad to put that to bed and hopefully I can give a bit more to the team in these coming weeks.”

Though Briscoe acknowledged he has been working hard in training, he insisted that is not a new development.

“I was doing a lot up to that game – it was just one of those games,” he said.

“The work is starting to pay off, the extras and trying to do a bit more.”

Rhinos are second in the Betfred Super-8s table, five points clear of third-placed Hull.

They have already confirmed a semi-final place and one more win would secure home advantage.

“We’ve got three games left and then we are into the semi-finals and a possibility of the Grand Final,” Briscoe said. “To have everyone firing now is great for the team.”

Tomorrow’s game at the Jungle could be a dress rehearsal for the Grand Final in four weeks’ time. Tigers are 10 points clear of Leeds and on a seven-game winning streak against the Headingley side, including three victories this year.

Rhinos were thrashed 66-10 - their record margin of defeat in Super League – at Castleford six months ago and Briscoe accepts they need to put in a positive performance this time.

“In the games against them this year we haven’t played particularly well,” he said. “To go there and get an 80-minute performance will be pleasing for us and it is something we are aiming to do.

“We know it is always tough going to Cas, with the atmosphere, the stadium and everything. We know we have to be on top of our game and even more so because they are top of the league and they have done a job on us all season.”

A win tomorrow would take the pressure off Rhinos’ final two league games, but – more importantly – prove to them and their opponents they have what it takes.

Briscoe added: “To go into the semi-finals having beaten Castleford would be great for confidence. Looking at our last two performances, we are building so it is time to play the best team.”