RITCHIE Hawkyard says Leeds Rhinos can be an inspiration to Cougars as they bid to maintain their Super Eights momentum.

Keighley have produced some of their best displays going into the business end of the season with two wins and a headline-grabbing draw with Toronto last weekend.

It means they go into Sunday's trip to Whitehaven as one of the form teams in the top eight, with only Barrow having a better record among the leading clubs since League One split in two.

Hawkyard is not getting carried away by Keighley's resurgence but he cited the ability of the Rhinos to peak at the right time as an example to try and follow.

The full back said: "We're just taking it week by week. At the start of the year we knew it was a building stage this season.

"We've shown little glimpses of how good we can be and how bad we can be.

"It's getting that consistency which I think we have got in the last month and we've got to try and keep riding the good wave we are on.

"You only have to look at the Leeds Rhinos over the last five or six years.

"Sometimes they might have a poor season but when it comes to the important league stages or the cup, they have tended to come good. We can only look at that and take that as a positive for us."

Rhinos came from fifth-placed finishes twice to go all the way to Grand Finals and win consecutive Super League titles in 2011 and 2012.

Cougars started the Super Eights five points off a top-five play-off spot but wins over Doncaster and York, plus the bonus draw with Toronto, have put them right in the mix.

They trail fifth-placed Doncaster – who still have to visit Wolfpack – by two points but have a significantly better points difference.

However, Hawkyard insists Keighley must keep their feet on the ground and only focus on the next match.

The 31-year-old said: "We're not going around shouting we are going to get promoted. We'll just take it week by week and where we finish, we finish.

"We'll just aim to keep winning games and try put ourselves in a good position. It's still going to be tough. We can’t rely just on ourselves, we've got to rely on teams around us to slip up.

"It’s out of our hands but we’ve just got to keep winning."

Hawkyard has been in superb form since returning from severe facial injuries after a clash of heads in Cougars' win over Hunslet at Easter.

They are unbeaten since his comeback against Workington last month and he produced another man of the match display against Toronto.

Head coach Craig Lingard said: "With his enthusiasm and the ability that he's got, he gives a lift to the lads when they see his name on the teamsheet.

"For us to play without him for three months has been a massive blow but we are unbeaten in five games now, having won three and drawn two, and it's no coincidence it's timed with Ritchie's return.

"He's been absolutely outstanding in every game that he's played."

Hawkyard recently signed a contract extension to carry on playing at Cougar Park until the end of next season.

He confirmed he is enjoying his time at Lawkholme Lane and was happy to put pen to paper once he had opted against retiring.

He said: "I love it down at Keighley. Everyone on the backroom staff to the fans to the chairman, they all make you feel welcome.

"They are a good family club and that’s what you want. At Swinton I had that and I’ve come here and it’s the same."