Leigh Centurions 26 Wigan Warriors 20
NEW-LOOK Leigh started their preparations for the 2016 campaign with a narrow victory over Wigan at a bitterly cold Sports Village.
Centurions had to fight back from 14-0 down to lead 16-14 and added two tries in the second half from Gregg McNally and Jamie Acton.
With new recruits Rangi Chase, Harrison Hansen, Dayne Weston, Reni Maitua, Willie Tonga and Cory Paterson included in the Leigh squad, it was perhaps not surprising that Leigh took a while to find their feet.
Wigan stormed into a 14-0 lead with three tries in the first 15 minutes. Josh Charnley profited from a wayward pass by Leigh full-back Gregg McNally on his own tryline, pouncing on the ball to score.
Then young Wigan winger Liam Marshall crossed twice in quick succession and with Sam Powell converting both, Centurions trailed 14-0.
Liam Kay started the Leigh revival 17 minutes before half-time when he slid in at the corner after being put clear by Tonga.
Moments later, Leigh were in again after Chase and Martyn Ridyard combined to send Adam Higson over. Ridyard’s goal made it 10-14.
The comeback was complete just before half-time when some powerful drives at the Wigan line ended with Sam Hopkins barging over. Ridyard’s conversion gave Leigh a 16-14 interval lead.
Charnley got a second to level things soon after the restart but Leigh were soon level when Ridyard sent McNally over.
With the scores level at 20-20, Leigh forward Jamie Acton scored what proved to be the match-winning try with 20 minutes left. Ridyard added the extras.