Wigan Warriors v Leeds Rhinos - Ash Handley not interested in personal milestone

PROLIFIC try scorer Ash Handley is on the verge of a career milestone, but personal achievements are the last thing on his mind.

Ash Handley. Picture Bruce Rollinson

Tomorrow’s meeting with Wigan Warriors, played behind closed doors at St Helens, will be the 24-year-old’s 100th Super League game.

With Jack Walker and Richie Myler both on the casualty list, Handley, a specialist winger and occasional centre, is set to continue at full-back and his only concern is ensuring Rhinos bounce back from last Sunday‘s disastrous 48-0 drubbing by St Helens.

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That was the first time Leeds had failed to score in a home game since 1992 and Handley admitted: “We were way off.”

He said: “I don’t know what it was, it was a good build-up during the week and even a good warm-up, but I think Saints put it to us and we didn’t have any answers. We were quite poor in every aspect of the game and they outplayed us. We need to focus on what we can do to be better as a team.

“I don’t think we have got to grips with the new style of the game as of yet, but it is down to us; we just need to look at ourselves and improve and improve quickly.”

Wigan knocked Leeds off top spot in the table when they beat Wakefield Trinity six days ago.

They are a daunting test for a team reeling from such a painful blow, but Handley stressed: “We need a big game and a big challenge again.

“You’d rather put it right against a good team. We just need to turn it around and put things right.

“Last week will be forgotten about if we can put a good performance on against Wigan.

“That’s just how it is, we need to forget about it, move on and build up confidence to go again.

“Hopefully, we can string a performance together - we need a full 80 minute performance.”

St Helens is an appropriate venue for Handley’s 100th Super League game.

He made his debut in 2014, but proved his top-flight credentials the following year with 13 touchdowns in 20 games including a hat-trick at tomorrow’s venue.

He said: “I do like playing at Saints, it is a nice ground and I am looking forward to it. “I played my 100th game for Leeds at the back end of last year and it’s nice to have another accolade.

“Because it is going so fast, week by week, I haven’t really taken much notice, but [milestones] are nice when they come around.”