LEEDS RHINOS need to learn not to “clock off” from a winning position, winger Tom Briscoe says.
Rhinos will this week attempt to pick up the pieces from their 9-8 home defeat by Wigan Warriors three days ago.
Wigan did not score until the 71st minute, but a late flurry of points condemned Rhinos to a third loss of the season in Betfred Super League.
Briscoe admitted they should have been good enough to preserve their two-score advantage in the closing stages.
He said: “I think for 60-70 minutes we were in control of that game, but credit to Wigan, they are a very good side.
“We kind of clocked off and let them get back into the game and good sides take advantage of that.
“That’s what they did.”
Rhinos were 6-0 ahead at half-time and added a penalty early in the final quarter. They did not score when Wigan were reduced to 12 men with Sam Powell in the sin-bin early in the second half and failed to land a killer blow when another try would have ended the visitors’ hopes of getting something from the game.
Asked if they should have been more ruthless, rather than kicking to the corners and trying to pin Wigan Warriors near their own line, Briscoe said: “We will have to have a look back at that and see where we were.
“But I thought just a few silly penalties let them out of their half too easily.
“A bit of game management, a few errors – it was a disappointing loss. We will have to look at it and figure out what went wrong.”
Wigan’s fightback was completed by a well-taken drop goal from Sam Tomkins, who had also levelled the scores with a penalty and converted Oliver Gildart’s try from the touchline.
“I think it surprised a few people, where he had an attempt from,” Briscoe admitted. “But credit to Wigan and Sam for attempting that and getting that drop goal to win it.”
For much of the game it looked like Briscoe’s first-half try would be the winner.
He crossed from a smart pass by Richie Myler, taking his tally of touchdowns this season to four.
“It is nice to get some ball in good ball,” Briscoe said. “I thought Richie had a great game.
“The stuff he is bringing to our game looks good at the minute and the more he plays with us, the better he is getting. Hopefully that can continue.”
Rhinos would have gone above Wigan into second spot in the table if they had been able to hang on. Instead, their defeat – coupled with Castleford Tigers’ win over Catalans Dragons yesterday – dropped them into fifth place.
They are only one point above Hull, who are sixth going into the sides’ meeting at KCOM Stadium on Thursday.
Briscoe began his career with Hull before joining Rhinos in 2014 and said he always enjoys facing his former club.
Rhinos won 20-16 when Hull visited Emerald Headingley last month, but Hull have got some key players – including stand-off Albert Kelly and hooker Danny Houghton back from injury since then.
Briscoe said: “They are up near the top of the table, they have a big, strong pack – as usual – and we know we’ll have to front up.
“They are a very physical, aggressive team so we have to prepare well.
“It is a bit of a quick turnaround, to a Thursday game, so we will do all we can to recover, look at what went wrong [on Friday evening] and try and put a few things in place to counteract that.”
Briscoe will have his hands full against Hull’s in-form winger Fetuli Talanoa.
He said: “Their back-five is very good. We know we are in for a tough game and we need to prepare for that.”
Meanwhile, prop Adam Cuthbertson admitted his repaired hand was sore after the match, but is hopeful of being fit for this week’s game at Hull on Thursday.
Cuthbertson returned against Wigan two months after breaking the hand in Rhinos’ World Club Challenge defeat at Melbourne Storm.
Jack Broadbent scored a hat-trick of tries for Rhinos under-19s in a 36-18 win over Widnes Vikings at Stanningley.
Corey Johnson bagged a brace and Liam Hamill and Reece Chapman-Smith also crossed. Harvey Spence kicked four goals.
Meanwhile, Leeds Rhinos got off to a winning start in the Women’s Super League with a 32-16 victory over last year’s champions Bradford Bulls at Odsal.
Rhinos, in their first competitive game, led 22-12 at the break through a brace of tries by Lois Forsell, plus one each from Rhiannon Marshall – who also kicked three goals – and Suze Hill. Amy Johnson and Charlotte Booth crossed in the second half, with Marshall adding another goal.