LEEDS RHINOS have been urged to take things one game at a time as they prepare for two crucial showdowns with Hull FC.
Rhinos face the Airlie Birds at Headingley tonight in a second versus fourth Betfred Super League clash, 15 days before they meet again in a Ladbrokes Challenge Cup semi-final at Doncaster.
We want to finish as high as possible and looking at the two games we’ve got left, it’s going to be a big test, but we are building.Leeds Rhinos’ Tom Briscoe
Tom Briscoe, who joined Rhinos from Hull at the end of 2013, regards both games as equally important.
And the winger insisted Rhinos – who travel to Wigan Warriors in seven days’ time for their final game of the regular season – don’t regard tonight as a dress rehearsal for the semi-final.
He said: “Obviously one will lead into the other and we’ll look at what works in [tonight’s] game and what doesn’t for the semi-final.
“But I imagine they will be two completely separate games and have two completely different stories.
“I am sure both teams will change the way they play, given the result of the first game this week.”
Hull have not beaten Rhinos since September, 2014 – a run of seven straight wins for Leeds.
Briscoe admitted that is a “good record”, but warned it will only make the visitors more determined.
“You get those results against teams sometimes,” Briscoe said. “They are always tough games against Hull and they will be wanting to put a marker down to prove a point
about what’s to come in the semi’.”
A Rhinos win this evening could seal second place at the end of the regular season, if third-placed Salford Red Devils lose at leaders Castleford Tigers.
“Hull are in fourth position - only three points behind us - so for us to be able to get two more points and keep ticking over in Super League and keep in touch with Castleford, it’s a big game,” Briscoe added.
“We want to finish as high as possible and looking at the two games we’ve got left, it’s going to be a big test, but we are building. We’ve got a bit of confidence at the minute and momentum so hopefully we can keep improving on the things that have gone wrong in previous games and keep building.”
Briscoe scored a brace of tries in the 50-24 demolition of Salford five days ago and he and the team will go into tonight’s game in upbeat mood.
“We were pleased with the tries we scored, not just the scoreline,” he said. “That was nice, but some of the tries we scored were good team tries and from far out as well.
“To be able to score those tries and get into that form towards the back end of the season is a good sign.”