Centurions boss pleased with fightback

Micky Higham leads the Leigh celebrations at Batley. Photo: Paul McCarthy Photography
Micky Higham leads the Leigh celebrations at Batley. Photo: Paul McCarthy Photography

Leigh boss Paul Rowley was impressed with the way his side battled back to win at Batley on Sunday.

A week ago, Centurions suffered their first defeat in nearly a year at London and they trailed 12-10 at Mount Pleasant with a quarter of the game remaining.

The signs were not good for Leigh when they were reduced to 12 men following the sinbinning of Gareth Hock for dissent.

But they responded in superb fashion, scoring three tries despite being a man down. Adam Higson claimed a hat-trick while Liam Kay and Jake Emmitt also scored tries.

“I am really proud of the players,” said Rowley. “The conditions were a real leveller but the ruck speed was again a disgrace.

“I thought we played really tough in the first 20 minute. Our contact in defence was outstanding. We had a soft 20 before half-time and tried to play around Batley but the conditions didn’t allow for that.

“It was a solid end to the second half but I thought we had everything against us. The locals were hostile and we needed to come and play tough. We answered some questions from last week and our contact in defence was excellent.”

Leigh were forced to make running repairs to their line-up with Bob Beswick filling in at scrum half following an injury to Ben Reynolds.

“Bob is a tough defender,” said Rowley. “He played really smart and it was nice to have both him and Micky Higham on the pitch at the same time.”

Leigh rested Ryan Brierley with Rowley adding: “It’s the first game Ryan has missed in three years. It will do him good to have a break and also we wanted to give Ben Reynolds more game time though that didn’t work out as we hoped.”

Leigh ended the game with 11 men following a red card for Jamie Acton and another yellow for Gareth Hock.