Brierley grateful for Tony Smith opportunity

Ryan Brierley has praised coach Tony Smith for showing him some much-needed belief.

The halfback has played in the Robins’ first seven games of the season, his longest sequence of games in almost two years after a frustrating end to his time at Toronto.

That saw his enthusiasm and confidence deteriorate but, after spending time under Smith’s watch, feels like he has rediscovered his excitement, and form, having put in an eye-catching display against Wigan.

“Being involved and playing for Tony has been a massive confidence boost,” he said.

“He’s got belief in me that I’ve not had before. His willingness to help me improve is massive.

“It’s exactly what I have needed for a long time, someone to put their arm around me and give me confidence. That was drained out of me by my own performances and external people.

“Ask any player in Super League, if they’re low, they won’t play well.

“He hasn’t taught me anything I didn’t know, but he’s invested time in me and is helping me work on my flaws. When I do extras on defence or whatever he will be last on the field with me watching me do my extras. Normally it’s just me or another player, but he doesn’t rush off home, he stays with me, talks through my flaws and help me get better, and he doesn’t give up on me on the first time of asking. I am going to make mistakes, Super League is hard and there’s so much more to do.”

Brierley also believes the club’s fortunes will turn around, despite a run of successive Super League defeat.

“Although it doesn’t look like we’re playing well, I’d like to think the performances are getting better.

“What I can guarantee is everyone is working really hard to move in the right direction and I think the last few weeks we’ve done that.”

Brierley joined the club on a one-year deal after coming to the terms on a release from his contract at Toronto.

That saw him join the Robins on a cut-price contract in order to get an opportunity in Super League.

He has got that so far, being one of just a handful to play every game for the club so far this season.

“I can’t say it’s something I expected but I’m really enjoying it,” he said.

“It’s been difficult and I know we’ve not had it our own way all the time but I’d like to think my performances are improving, and I think as a team we are doing too.”