Leigh Centurions will be looking to progress their season’s ambitions by beating Halifax, not once but twice over the next 10 days!
The Centurions travel to meet their Championship rivals tonight (Thursday) at The New Shay, and then welcome the West Yorkshire side to the LSV for Carnegie Challenge Cup fifth round tie on the weekend of April 27 to 29.
“It’s a cracking tie for us,” said Centurions coach, Paul Rowley. “All you can ask is to be at home in a cup tie, and the fact that it is a Championship side gives us an excellent opportunity for reaching the quarter finals – and that would be a tremendous feat for us, as indeed it would be for Halifax, should they win.
“But it is all about what happens on the day, and the Cup draw just adds a little bit more spice to our Thursday night game. They are a terrific side with some great players in their ranks, and along with Featherstone Rovers and Sheffield Eagles they are the form teams of our division.
“But we are not playing badly and we will travel to The Shay looking for a win.”
Leigh travel on the back of four successive victories, the last of which was Sunday’s 68-18 win over an in-form Rochdale Hornets at the weekend.
“We came through the game virtually unscathed although James Taylor took a knock that we are monitoring,” added Rowley. “We played well, and showed some great skill at times. But we really must tighten up on our defence. We cannot afford to be sloppy at all against Halifax or they will punish us.
“They have great players in their back line in Reittie, White and Patterson and with Leigh lad Sean Penkywicz always looking to haunt is they are a very difficult side to break down. They are top of the table with four straight wins and it is all on us to put a dent in that record.”
Leigh could be boosted by the return of a fit again john Duffy and dual registered forward James Laithwaite who is available from Warrington after being cup tied at the weekend.
“John could have played at a push last Sunday, but I wanted him fit for Halifax. And the extra few days has done him good. With virtually everyone fit except James (Taylor), I may be in the position of having to work out who to leave out.
“And that is just what we want down here, competition for places.”
One player putting in a big claim for a starting slot is Ryan Brierley who raced in for four tries at the weekend.
“He is proving a big favourite with the fans,” added Rowley. “He loves to score tries and it shows. He is quick, reads the game well and has a knack of being in the right place at the right time. He certainly has a great future in the game.
“But just what team I go with on Thursday is something I am pondering and I need to pick the side to do the job. It’s a quick turnaround which is always tough. But we will give it our best shot.”
Tonight’s game will be televised on Premier Sports, kick off 7.30pm.