Jukes: We’ve got momentum ahead of Million Pound Game

Micky Higham could be making his final appearance for his hometown club if he plays this weekend
Micky Higham could be making his final appearance for his hometown club if he plays this weekend
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So it comes down to this ... one more win for Leigh will see them play in Super League next season.

The Million Pound Game pits Neil Jukes’ men against the Catalans Dragons at the Sports Village on Saturday in what is certain to be a dramatic and tense affair which will be no place for the faint-hearted.

“It’s all new to us,” admitted Jukes. “But we are going into the game on the back of two wins and a bit of momentum and playing with a bit of confidence. I don’t think any of our players have ever been involved in the Million Pound Game but it’s something we’re getting our heads round.

“Playing-wise we have enough fit players to select what I think is a good side and one that’s good enough to do a job on Saturday.

“We will have to replicate the things we did well against London and concentrate on the areas we need to improve. There is obviously a lot of pressure but we are trying to deal with it in the best way we can.

“When you have got that determination in your side you’ve got every chance of achieving your goal. Defensively against London we showed a lot of steel and we kept turning up for each other which is something we’ll have to do again on Saturday.

“London are a good side and for us to put that many points on them on their own ground was a good achievement.”

Leigh have already convincingly beaten Catalans in the Super 8 Qualifiers in Perpignan but they lost home and away during the regular Super League season and have never beaten the Dragons at the LSV.

The French team missed the chance to stay up on Saturday as they lost at home to Widnes and their recent form has been unconvincing. Yet they have a talented squad which would appear to have woefully underperformed this year and the arrival of former England coach Steve McNamara partway through the season has failed to produce the desired upturn in results.

Leigh club captain Micky Higham could be back for what is potentially his final game for his hometown club as his playing future hasn’t been decided. He has missed the last few weeks through illness but will be desperate to play. Higham’s date with destiny evokes memories of when another Leyther - Tommy Martyn - helped guide Centurions to Super League with a stellar last game before retirement in the 2004 Grand Final win over Whitehaven.

Centre Samisoni Langi is likely to be fit as is Cory Paterson though Mitch Brown, Daniel Mortimer and Gareth Hock are all unavailable through long-term injuries while Jamie Acton remains suspended. Gregg McNally didn’t feature against London but is available.

Centurions have several former Catalans players in their ranks including Eloi Pelissier, Antoni Maria and Glenn Stewart who would love nothing more than sending their old club down to the Championship.