London Broncos 12 Leigh Centurions 36

Neil Jukes
Neil Jukes

Leigh opened up a five point lead at the top of the Kingstone Press Championship with a dominant performance against their nearest rivals London

In what was London’s first home defeat of the season, Leigh did the damage in a one-sided first half, racing into a 28-0 lead before surviving a London comeback after the restart.

Coach Neil Jukes was delighted with his team’s performance. He said: “We showed a real appetite for the game during training this week. Early on, our defence and contact was superb.

“We wanted to put pressure on from minute one and I could tell very early on that our attitude was spot on.

“Our focus and attention to detail was brilliant.”

Only three minutes had gone when Fuifui Moimoi’s break opened up the London defence and his pass inside found Josh Drinkwater who finished off under the posts against his former club. Lee Smith added the conversion.

Moimoi was involved in Leigh’s second try as he broke well before Micky Higham continued the move and Cory Paterson finished off. Smith kicked the conversion.

A 17th minute Smith penalty nudged Leigh further ahead before London we reduced to 12 men when prop Mark Ione was sin-binned for a dangerous tackle on Adam Higson. Centurions took immediate advantage of the extra man when Paterson barged in from dummy half for his second try. Smith again kicked the goal and Leigh led 20-0 after only 21 minutes.

London were continually frustrated by the line speed of Leigh’s defence and their chances were few and far between.

With seven minutes of the half remaining, Leigh crafted another fine try with Greg Worthington scoring out wide moments after Sam Hopkins was held up over the London tryline. Smith was unable to goal.

Moments before half-time, some swift passing along the line saw Worthington find Liam Kay and he produced a flying finish to score out wide. Smith was unable to convert but Leigh were good value for their 28-0 lead.

The home side looked sharper after the restart and they got on the scoreboard after just five minutes when Mark Ioane was first to react when a kick through took an unkind bounce. Api Pewhairangi kicked the conversion.

But Leigh’s response was immediate with winger Higson finishing off in the corner though Smith could not convert.

London were boosted when Leigh’s Liam Hood was sinbinned for an illegal tackle in the 62nd minute and they took advantage of the extra man advantage with a try from Pewhairangi which he also converted.

But they failed to build on their second try and a stack of possession and Leigh finished the job when Worthington scored in the closing minutes.

Teams

Leigh:

Smith, Higson, Worthington, Armstrong, Kay, Drinkwater, Burns, Moimoi, Higham, Weston, Maitua, Paterson, Hock. Subs: Hood, Hansen, Hopkins, Evans

London:

Kear, Williams, Hellewell, Foster, Macani, Pewhairangi, Leatherbarrow, Slyney, Cunningham, Ioane, Harrison, Garside, Offerdahl. Subs: Bussey. Magrin, Battye, Thackray

Pitch: Standard (artificial)

Weather: Dry

Referee: Joe Cobb