Leeds Rhinos star Ash Handley believes Leeds Rhinos can still produce ‘something special’ in their 2023 Super League campaign.
Rohan Smith’s side currently sit outside of the play-offs 20 rounds into the campaign, having claimed just nine Super League wins all season.
Despite their disappointing campaign, Handley admits the side are eyeing up replicating last year’s success that saw them reach the Theatre of Dreams following a troubled start to the season.
Smith, who was appointed new coach at Headingley Stadium in April 2022 on a three-and-a-half-year contract, guided the side to Old Trafford upon his arrival, falling to a 24-12 defeat to eventual four-peat champions St Helens.
It has been a tough 2023 campaign for Leeds, having finished last year in fifth position, with shock defeats to Wakefield Castleford, including at St James’ Park Magic Weekend.
On the other hand, the Rhinos have picked up impressive wins including a 40-18 score at Wigan and a 54-0 hammering over Huddersfield at Headingley Stadium.
An inconsistent season, last year’s vice captain Handley has predicted a stronger finish to the season for his side.
The winger, who has scored 10 tries so far this year, was a guest on the latest episode of BBC’s Super League Show.
Ash Handley says Leeds Rhinos can still replicate last year’s success
Speaking with presenter Tanya Arnold, Handley said: “The first break when we weren’t in the Challenge Cup, there wasn’t much said about it and we didn’t change training, I think it was just a collective thought or feeling that we were going to crank it up now and that’s what everyone has done.
“I know a couple of results haven’t gone our way, Hull KR and obviously Saints, but the feeling is still there that we can do something special this year and replicate what we did last year.
“Hopefully if results turn our way, we can make that happen.”