Leigh boss Rowley: This is the worst time to play Broncos

Jonny Pownall scores for Leigh at Halifax.
Jonny Pownall scores for Leigh at Halifax.

PAUL Rowley says Leigh won’t underestimate London despite their less than convincing start to life in the Championship.

Centurions meet the newly relegated Super League side at the Sports Village on Sunday looking to build on two wins from two at the start of the season.

Last Sunday London were thrashed 40-6 by Sheffield having struggled to beat Doncaster in Round One.

But Leigh boss Rowley said: “It would be the biggest mistake to underestimate a team that has been relegated from Super League. They have a better squad this year with a tally of NRL and Super League appearances within their squad that is pretty hard to match.

“They’ve certainly got the ability but have been a little bit inconsistent, which they said they would be until they gel as a team. We’re expecting a very motivated London side who will be very focused and want to put a lot of things right.

“London clearly need some adjustment time to life in this league but Sheffield are a top quality side and on their day can turn it on against anyone.

It’s probably the worst time for us to be playing London after such a big defeat. There would have been a lot of soul searching going on after that result.”

Before the season kicked off, London were ranked as third favourites to win the Championship behind Bradford and Leigh. They have since drifted out to 16-1 – with Featherstone replacing them in the betting.

Rowley is hoping to have centres Tom Armstrong and Greg Worthington (dead leg) available for Sunday after they suffered knocks and had to go off at Halifax.

Leigh are without the injured Matt Sarsfield and Adam Higson while Tom Spencer and Martin Aspinwall continued their respective comebacks in the reserves on Tuesday night against Rochdale. Spencer also played in Steve Maden’s testimonial game last Thursday. Tommy Goulden is missing as he serves the first of a two match ban.

Rowley was full of praise for his side after they won in dreadful conditions at Halifax.

“It was a very satisfying performance.” he said.

“You needed to be there to appreciate how hard it was in those conditions.

“I was also pleased that the Halifax coach Richard Marshall commented on how good our discipline was in the wake of some of the comments made after our win over Bradford.

“It’s good to get that sort of feedback from opposition coaches.”

But there were a few other things that went on last Sunday which angered Rowley.

“The Halifax players walked through our warm-up which narked us,” he said. “There was also a comment made by the matchday announcer about it being first versus third which just fired us up a bit more.”

London’s heavy defeat at Sheffield also brought with it a number of injuries and Broncos coach Joey Grima is expecting a very tough contest at Leigh. “We’re putting 17 players out there and they’ve all got a job to do so it’s up to them whether they want to go there with the right attitude and make a game of it,” he said.

Forward Nick Slyney has a pectoral muscle injury while half back Joe Keyes will sit out the next two weeks due to concussion and there are some bumps and bruises to other players which have to be assessed.