Jukes: Job only half done

Gregg McNally gives Micky Higham a kiss as Leigh took another step towards Super League with a win at Hull KR last weekend   Photo: Paul McCarthy
Gregg McNally gives Micky Higham a kiss as Leigh took another step towards Super League with a win at Hull KR last weekend Photo: Paul McCarthy

Leigh can take a giant step towards Super League if they can pull off a fifth straight win in the Super 8 qualifiers against Huddersfield on Saturday.

Automatic promotion is a real possibility for Neil Jukes’ side with the Million Pound Game now looking like a worst case scenario for the in-form Centurions.

“The job is half done,” said Jukes. “Until we are up mathematically there will be no talk of promotion or celebrations. The players were back in for training on Sunday morning after winning at Hull KR the day before. They are a very grounded and committed group who are determined to get the job done.

“As it stands there are a lot of teams who can still go up and three rounds of games to play. Yes, I’m happy with our position and if you’d offered me four wins from four to start the qualifiers, I’d have been delighted.”

Jukes has warned that Huddersfield will present Leigh with their biggest test of the qualifiers so far.

“They are not called the Giants for nothing,” he said. “They have internationals across the park and are a very good team.

“In recent weeks they have picked up some good wins and scored plenty of points so their new coach is making an impact and the players are responding to his new systems. They are a big, athletic team and this will be our toughest test to date.”

Last Saturday, Leigh won their fourth successive Super 8 qualifiers game at Hull KR - their second Super League scalp having already beaten Salford. It was a superb performance from the Centurions who battled back from 12-0 down in dreadful conditions to claim a memorable 25-18 victory.

“I was massively delighted,” admitted Jukes. “Our start to the game had me fearing the worst. We were put on a team warning twice, possession was against us and we made unforced errors.

“But we started doing the simple things right and there was a big impact off our bench. Plus our discipline was better. I think we were guilty of showing Hull KR too much respect and after 17 minutes I thought we had waved the white flag.

“This group of players have improved week on week this season and have got stronger. Resolve and unity won us the game at Hull KR. They players have come together as one when it matters.”

Leigh could have Fuifui Moimoi back for Saturday after he was failed a late fitness test before the Hull KR match.

Greg Worthington suffered a knock against Hull KR but he should be fine for Saturday.