Jukes: Our toughest test

Coach Neil Jukes admitted there was some injury concern over Fuifui Moimoi but he should be fit to face Hull KR this weekend
Coach Neil Jukes admitted there was some injury concern over Fuifui Moimoi but he should be fit to face Hull KR this weekend

Leigh face their toughest test of the Super 8 Qualifiers so far when they go to Hull KR on Saturday.

Neil Jukes’ side have won all three of their games so far against London, Salford and most recently Featherstone. But the Leigh coach says his coaching staff and players are well aware of how well they need to play to make it four wins in a row.

“Hull KR are a team full of outstanding individuals and on their day can beat any team in Super League,” said Jukes.

“This is the toughest game we have faced so far and we are treating it as such. The Challenge Cup Final weekend break came at a good time for us and the players have had the chance to recharge.

“We had some concerns over Fuifui Moimoi after he picked up an injury in the game at Featherstone but he has trained very well and should be fit to play at Hull KR.

“It was an ugly win at Featherstone but at this stage of the season, the result is all that matters. The players know they will have to be a lot better than they were at Featherstone.

“When Super League teams really click you have to be on your game because they won’t just turn you over, they’ll annihilate you.”

Leigh also have Harrison Hansen available after he escaped a ban despite originally being charged for an offence at Featherstone. It was feared he could miss the next three games but he was found not guilty by the RFL’s review panel.

“I went up with Harrison to face the panel and they accepted there was a technical nature to the offence,” said Jukes. “Fortunately the panel understood that and took into account Harrison’s previous record and there was no further charge.”

Centre Greg Worthington is also back after serving a suspension.

Last week, Jukes and his assistant Paul Anderson received a special prize at the Leigh annual awards night.

Jukes, who took over from Paul Rowley on the eve of the new season, said it was a “massive shock” to be handed the award. “To be honest, I don’t think I should get an award for just doing my job,” he said. “But myself and Paul Anderson have been here through a lot this season on and off the season.”

Prop Dayne Weston picked up two awards - Coaches’ Player of the Season and Players’ Player of the Season. Jukes says he was not surprised the Australian picked up both awards after a sensational first season at Leigh.

“Dayne was a popular choice though it was a close run thing with Micky Higham and Adam Higson also having such good seasons,” said Jukes. “Dayne has been a big influence on and off the pitch. He came to us after working within a good culture at his former club Melbourne Storm.”