CRAIG Briscoe wore a huge smile when he left the Oldham dressing room on Wednesday night after the Bradford Bulls game.
Back after a four-month break with a serious knee injury, he played quarter of an hour either side of half-time against the Bulls and came through with flying colours.
The former Leigh and Barrow back-row man did his tackling; did his fair share of tough ‘carries’; and looked as though he had never been away.
If he can build on that at London Broncos on Sunday (3pm), he will be approaching full match fitness by the time Roughyeds play crucial late-season Championship games against Whitehaven, Sheffield, Swinton and Workington.
“There’s still a lot of rugby to be played,” said 23-year-old Briscoe, who deserves a bit of luck after taking a few setbacks since smashing his knee in a pre-season friendly at his former club Barrow.
He added: “My knee stood up fine to the test; the problem was my lungs !
“Seriously, it was great to be back. I have a battle on my hands now to get into the side on a regular basis.”
Nobody watched Briscoe’s comeback with a keener eye than head coach Scott Naylor, who said: “He played it tough. He’s also very aggressive — two qualities we are a little bit light on.”
Having played in midweek, Naylor cancelled last night’s training session and told his players to put their feet up instead.
They will be back in tomorrow morning when injury victims Danny Grimshaw, Jack Spencer, Richard Lepori and Steve Roper will be assessed.
Naylor’s men, without a win in six, face another mammoth task against the full-time Broncos, who are second in the Championship and setting out their stall to regain Super League status via the Middle Eights.
In winger Rhys Williams they have the joint top try scorer in the Championship, he and Sheffield’s Rob Worrincy each having posted 17 tries.