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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

Briscoe aiming for Harris’ try scoring record

10th May 2018 | 10:19 am

By Phil Daly

Former Leeds Rhinos player Luke Briscoe stands on the brink of equalling one of the longest standing records in the game held by another former Leeds player when Featherstone Rovers welcome Hull FC to the LD Nutrition Stadium tonight for the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup Sixth Round clash.

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Former Leeds Rhinos player Luke Briscoe stands on the brink of equalling one of the longest standing records in the game held by another former Leeds player when Featherstone Rovers welcome Hull FC to the LD Nutrition Stadium tonight for the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup Sixth Round clash.

There is unlikely to ever be a better winger in the history of the Leeds club than Eric Harris, the ‘Toowoomba Ghost’. Statistics alone tell the story, with a staggering 391 touchdowns in only 383 appearances in the nine years from 1930-39 including a seasonal zenith of 63 in 1935-6.

Brought to Leeds as a teenager by centre Jeff Moores, he thrilled the Headingley faithful with a two try debut at Featherstone and went on to leave a trail of floundering opponents throughout the north of England as Leeds became the dominant force in the game.

A try scorer at Wembley in 1936 outside namesake Fred with whom he had an instinctive understanding, he became the hero of his generation. Electric but imperceptible acceleration and an ability to glide around players who seemingly had him in their clutches made him one of the most dangerous players of his day.

A teacher at the new Carnegie College in Leeds, he married a local girl but was forced back home as war clouds loomed although he remained an ardent fan of the club from his home in Brisbane. He was never a loser in seven finals and is still the joint club record holder with eight tries in a match against Bradford.

However it was his sequence of 36 touchdowns in 17 consecutive matches that Briscoe is aiming to equal tonight.

Harris’ run began on Saturday 7th December 1935 when Batley were the visitors to Headingley. Harris ran in for a hat trick as Leeds won comfortably 27-3. The following week, despite two more tries from Harris, Leeds lost 15-11 at St Helens Recs. However, the Loiners responded to that set back with four straight wins. Harris led the way with four tries away at Hull KR, two at Batley on Boxing Day and another hat trick at home against Acton and Willesden two days later.

The New Year brought three games in a week. New Years Day witnessed a narrow 9-8 midweek win at Odsal with Harris touching down once before travelling to Warrington the following Saturday when Leeds suffered their first defeat in over a month when Harris scored the visitors only points in a 5-3 loss.

Four days later Harris scored twice in an abandoned game against Wakefield at Headingley, that is included in his run. On 11th January, Leeds got back to winning ways against Hull KR at Headingley with Harris again scoring twice and he ran in four more tries on 18th January at home against Featherstone.

The re-arranged game against Wakefield saw another try for Harris before he crossed again at York.

Leeds began their Challenge Cup campaign with a home tie against Dewsbury with Harris scoring twice before another hat trick against Warrington at Headingley in a 29-6 win to avenge the earlier defeat at Wilderspool.

Streatham and Mitcham were dispatched in the second round of the Cup, with Harris scoring once before he crossed for a hat trick at Bramley. The Australians 36th and final try in this remarkable run came at home against York on 29th February 1936.

The run ended on 7th March 1936 when Harris failed to scored in a Cup game at Hull FC’s Boulevard ground. Briscoe will aim to equal Harris’ record tonight against the same opposition in the same competition.

1. 7th December 1935 – Batley (H) Won 27-3 Harris 3 tries
2. 14th December 1935 – St Helens Rec (A) Lost 11-15 Harris 2 tries
3. 21st December 1935 – Hull KR (A) Won 26-3 Harris 4 tries
4. 26th December 1935 – Batley (A) Won 16-5 Harris 2 tries
5. 28th December 1935 – Acton and Willesden (H) Won 29-10 Harris 3 tries
6.  1st January 1936 – Bradford Northern (A) Won 9-8 Harris 1 try
7. 4th January 1936 – Warrington (A) Lost 3-5 Harris 1 try
8. 8th January 1936 – Wakefield Trinity (A) Abandoned Harris 2 tries
9. 11th January 1936 – Hull KR (H) Won 18-7 Harris 2 tries
10. 18th January 1936 – Featherstone Rovers (H) Won 38-5 Harris 4 tries
11. 29th January 1936 – Wakefield Trinity (H) Won 9-7 Harris 1 try
12. 1st February 1936 – York (A) Won 13-7 Harris 1 try
13. 8th February 1936 – Dewsbury (H) Won 18-7 Harris 2 tries
14. 15th February 1936 – Warrington (H) Won 29-6 Harris 3 tries
15. 22nd February 1936 – Streatham and Mitcham (A) Won 13-3 Harris 1 try
16. 26th February 1936 – Bramley (A) Won 28- 9 Harris 3 tries
17. 29th February 1936 – York (H) Won 11-3 Harris 1 try
7th March 1936 – Hull (A) Won 5-4 No try

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