Centurions go clear at the top

Fuifui Moimoi celebrates his hat-trick try against Featherstone. Photo: Paul McCarthy Photography
Fuifui Moimoi celebrates his hat-trick try against Featherstone. Photo: Paul McCarthy Photography

Leigh pulled clear at the top of the Kingstone Press Championship while, at the bottom, Doncaster broke their duck at the 21st attempt to give Gary Thornton his first win as head coach.

Tongan forward Fuifui Moimoi and half-back Ryan Brierley both scored hat-tricks as Leigh demolished Featherstone 52-18 in Jon Sharp’s first match in charge of the Yorkshiremen.

Rovers led 12-6 after 22 minutes thanks to tries from Ian Hardman and Brad England but the Centurions hit back with four tries in 13 minutes before the break to turn the game on its head.

Former Featherstone centre Greg Worthington, Gregg McNally and Gareth Hock scored Leigh’s other tries while Ben Blackmore got a consolation effort for the visitors as they lost to the Centurions for a third time since their 2014 Grand-Final defeat.

Leigh are now two points ahead of Bradford, who will go into next Sunday’s table-topping clash with the Centurions on the back of a third defeat of the season.

Jake Mullaney scored a hat-trick of tries as the Bulls fought back from 30-6 down at third-placed Sheffield Eagles but it was not enough to prevent them going down 32-30.

Winger Rob Worrincy scored two tries for the Eagles, with others coming from Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e, Tony Tonks and Kyle Briggs, who also kicked six goals including a late penalty that eased their nerves and proved the difference in the end.

Ryan Shaw scored 14 points with a try and five goals for Bradford, whose other try came from Jay Pitts.

Halifax strengthened their bid for a top-four spot with a hard-fought 25-22 win over Batley at the Shay.

Richard Marshall’s side, who have now won their last seven games, looked to have the contest sewn up when they led 24-6 inside the final quarter but the Bulldogs rallied to cut the gap to 24-18 before captain Scott Murrell put over a drop goal to give his side a cushion.

Ben Johnston scored the first and last tries for Halifax, whose others came from Adam and James Saltonstall, with Steve Tyrer kicking four goals.

Winger Wayne Reittie scored two tries for Batley, with others coming from Brad Day and Keegan Hurst, while Scott Leatherbarrow kicked three goals.

London Broncos look certain to miss out on the top four after going down 24-12 at Dewsbury, where three players were sin-binned and the home team’s full-back Ryan Fieldhouse was sent off for a high tackle on French international William Barthau.

Former Bradford and Wigan player Karl Pryce opened the scoring with the 100th try of his career before quickly adding his 101st while Nathan Conroy also touched down for the Rams, with Brett Seymour kicking six goals.

Wes Naiqama and Oscar Thomas scored tries for the Broncos, both converted by Naiqama, who are now four points adrift of fourth place with just two games left before the Super 8s.

Workington boosted their hopes of avoiding relegation with a 28-6 win in the Cumbrian derby against Whitehaven at the Recreation Ground.

Elliot Miller scored a hat-trick and Wigan dual-registered centre Iain Thornley and recent recruit Jarrod Sammut also scored tries for Town, who had gone six matches without a win.

Whitehaven trailed 28-0 before long-serving winger Craig Calvert scored their only try, which was goaled by Frenchman Louis Jouffret.

Doncaster came from 8-6 down at half-time to beat Hunslet 34-26 and end a 24-match losing run stretching back to the last day of August 2014.

Joe McLocklan scored Doncaster’s only try in the first half but they hit their straps after the break, with Peter Fox, Mitch Clark, Steve Snitch, Paul Mennell and Matt Groat all crossing the line and David Scott taking his goal tally to five.

Matty Gee scored a try in each half for the visitors and others came from Danny Maun, Richie Barnett and Callum Casey with Simon Brown kicking three goals.

The Hawks now drop into the bottom three after a seventh straight defeat.