Leigh have thanked the thousands of fans who helped make Saturday’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup quarter final at Warrington such a great occasion.
Paul Rowley’s side put up a valiant effort against their Super League neighbours but lost 34-24 having led at half-time.
The nature of Leigh’s display earned them plenty of praise from across the rugby league world.
Leigh’s head of rugby Derek Beaumont said he hoped the fans would continue to back the club as the business end of the season approaches.
“I would like to thank our amazing fans for their outstanding support for the team,” he said.
“To sell 4,000 tickets in the lead-up plus the walk up is a clear statement to the Club from the public that they want and will support a Super League club. To see the colourful and vociferous support right to the end gallant in defeat was extremely encouraging and motivating to the board that their efforts are worthwhile.
“For the Warrington chairman to want to walk with me to applaud our fans is a mark of respect that our fans should be proud of. It was nice to see them have a great day out with fans partying with the conga long after the teams had left the field. I am also particularly proud of Paul and the boys and have great belief in them and their ability to deliver what we aspire to achieve.
“This was only our second defeat of the season and it is interesting that despite us being labelled a team of thugs, in both of those games there wasn’t a single fight or card to one of our players. It clearly demonstrates we are a team who want to play rugby.
“Perhaps when we face teams who find it difficult against us and resort to niggles in the rucks that aren’t controlled we need to find a different way of retaliating or defending ourselves.
“Hopefully the media and Rugby League world will have seen from the game that we are a rugby team and not a bunch of thugs as some people would have you believe. Gareth Hock was outstanding in the game and demonstrated he still has a lot to offer the game at the highest level.
“We can now focus on the real job in hand which is the Super 8s and I am sure the week off between the end of the league programme and the start of the 8s that we now have free when the Challenge Cup semis are played will be very useful and good preparation to regroup and energise ourselves for the job in hand.”
Mr Beaumont concluded: “I would urge those who visited Warrington to continue their support at LSV for the remainder of the season and continue to do the lads proud. They greatly value your support and they’re gutted they let you down.
“There is no better way than showing that they didn’t let anyone down than giving them a massive support at home against Hunslet Hawks on Wednesday week.”