Leigh boss Rowley: We expect our players to be targeted, but we’ll protect them

Dewsbury were reduced to 12 men against Leigh on Sunday
Dewsbury were reduced to 12 men against Leigh on Sunday
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LEIGH boss Paul Rowley says he accepts his key players will continue to come in for some “special attention” as rivals bid to knock them off their perch at the top of the Kingstone Press Championship.

But he says his team will continue to look after their own in the wake of incidents in the win at Dewsbury last Sunday.

Ryan Brierley was subjected to sledging and several niggling challenges well before he was flattened by Dewsbury’s Matthew Haggarty – an offence which saw the Rams player red-carded.

“We accept this will happen,” said Rowley. “But as a team we feel a responsibility to look after our young players – especially Ryan who is our top try scorer.

“Teams will target certain players – they always have – but equally we will protect them.”

On Sunday, Leigh can equal the club record for successive victories of 14 by beating Doncaster.

But Rowley says that won’t be talked about in camp this week, with the focus purely on winning and strengthening their grip on the Kingstone Press Championship. Leigh are currently seven points clear of second placed Featherstone having won all 10 of their league games this season.

“Doncaster are a skilfull side and joint second in the table,” he said. “Every side poses a tough challenge and although we were a bit down on numbers in training early in the week we should have everyone back on board.”

Rowley will monitor the form of the Reserves side when they play Featherstone on Wednesday evening at Leigh Miners Rangers.

Meanwhile, Leigh’s game against Halifax at the Sports Village will now be played on June 11 with an 8pm kick off. This is because of Leigh’s continued involvement in the Tetley’s Challenge Cup – they are at Leeds on Friday, June 6. Also, Leigh’s home fixture against Workington has been brought forward to Saturday, August 30.