Leigh Centurions’ sensational fourth Northern Rail Cup triumph came at a price as they anxiously await news on two key players for the return to Kingstone Press Championship action and pursuit of a top three finish.
Sam Hopkins picked up a knee injury that may prove to be ligament damage whilst winger Steve Maden was given a red card at the start of the second half that may see him miss a number of games.
But coach Paul Rowley is taking both events in his stride, keeping fingers crossed for Hopkins and giving Maden his full backing.
“Steve rushed in when he saw a small fullback being punched by a big forward,” he pointed out. ”We said all along that we were not going to be bullied by a Sheffield side that likes to dominate and intimidate and Steve only did what I would have done, what any of the team would do, and indeed did do, when they saw one of their own in a mis-match.
“I don’t condone dirty play at all, but in this instance Steve was only protecting his team mate. I will say that Steve gave just as much to winning the game as any player in the side, and although I didn’t expect him to get sent off, he was showing his commitment to the team and his team mates.
“Steve has an excellent disciplinary record and I fully expect him to be allowed to enter an early guilty plea that would see him serve a one match suspension.
“With regard to Sam (Hopkins) it is unfortunate that he picked up his injury when he was going so well. He was seeing a specialist early this week, and we will get the verdict then. But initially it looks like ligament damage and if that is the case he will be side-lined until the play offs.”