ENGLAND winger Tom Briscoe says games like Leeds Rhinos’ edgy victory over Salford Red Devils will only enhance their chances of winning Super League.
The ex-Hull FC wideman played his part as the West Yorkshire club scraped to a 22-18 victory at in-form opponents on Friday.
Leeds had to defend their line heroically for a large part of the last quarter as they hung on to a slender lead against a Salford side striving for a fourth successive victory to bolster hopes of making the play-offs.
“It was good to come away with the two points,” said Briscoe, with his side having drawn against Castleford Tigers the previous week.
“Throughout the season there are going to be close games and the more you can close those sorts of games out the better you’ll finish.
“The last few weeks we’ve been edged out once and just got the draw, too, so it’s nice to just come away with the win.
“There was a lot of pressure on our line for a few sets.”
Briscoe cooly mopped up one threatening Rangi Chase kick in the final minute and he added: “Obviously you are kind of clock-watching when it’s tight and they’re on a roll.
“But you just have to hold on for those last few seconds, complete it and get the ball back.
“I wish we could make it easier for ourselves in the end - and on our hearts - as there was plenty of pressure on us.
“Salford pushed us all the way.”
Leeds remain just two points behind leaders St Helens as they look to win the League Leaders’ Shield for the first time since 2009.
Of course, they face Warrington Wolves in the Challenge Cup semi-finals, too, a week on Saturday but first it’s a visit from relegated Bradford Bulls on Friday.
Briscoe, who has scored 11 tries in 23 games since moving to Headingley last winter, added: “We’ve got an aim of getting top and we can’t look too far ahead or other goals will be lost.
“We need to keep racking points up to get as far up the table as we can and focus on that semi-final come the week after Bradford.
“I’m sure they’ll come out firing. They’ll be up for it knowing they’re relegated. They’ll be coming to prove a point especially in a big derby as well.”
Briscoe’s thrilling first half run from deep helped set up Kallum Watkins’ try at Salford and he admitted: “It’s good to know we can score tries from all over the pitch.
“Obviously, we’ll be in our own half quite a bit coming into those tougher games and we need to be able to score from anywhere.
“It’s all good practice ready to take into tough games like Warrington.”