Leigh coach Rowley salutes Centurions after horror schedule

Leigh's Sean Penkywicz earned high praise for his performance against Barrow
Leigh's Sean Penkywicz earned high praise for his performance against Barrow

SIR Elton John plays Leigh Sports Village on Saturday, and the title of one of his biggest hits perfectly sums up the mood in the Centurions camp tonight: I’m Still Standing.

Leigh coach Paul Rowley was full of praise for the commitment of his players after a demanding schedule which included three games in just over a week.

Despite losing to Leeds Rhinos in the Tetley’s Challenge Cup quarter final at Headingley, Leigh have pressed on with their pursuit of the Kingstone Press Championship.

On Wednesday, Centurions just edged a grueling battle with Halifax but today’s game with Barrow was a much more straightforward affair. Winger Liam Kay scored five tries as Centurions demolished Barrow 60-0 at the Sports Village.

“This has been a really tough period for us,” said Rowley. “So to come through it by nilling a team is an exceptional effort.

“The boys have got a day off now which they really deserve. I am really pleased to come up with that result especially with Featherstone dropping points at home to Doncaster.

“We have extended our lead at the top to eight points and it’s credit to the players and medical staff. It has been a really challenging couple of weeks.”

Leigh were without the injured Sam Barlow while Kurt Haggerty was unable to face the club he is on loan from. Centres Adam Higson and Cameron Pitman are still sidelined with injuries. Andy Thornley got a surprise starting spot in the centres but showed up extremely well.

“I don’t think that was the best we’ve played this season,” said Rowley. “At times it felt a bit lick tick and pass. Liam Kay got his reward for some brilliant performances with five tries. He has done some mileage for us of late.

“I thought Sean Penkywicz was untouchable today - it was probably one of his best ever games in a Leigh shirt. I must also pay tribute to Martyn Ridyard for passing the 1,000 point mark for the club which is a massive achievement.”