LEIGH boss Paul Rowley said he was delighted to have Matt Sarsfield back in action at Whitehaven today though was given a scare when he had to go off injured.
The second rower scored in the first half to mark his return to senior action after a pectoral injury which has kept him out all year. But he limped off in the second half and Rowley admitted he was extremely worried about him.
“Fortunately it was just severe cramp for Matt,” said Rowley. “It was his first game back for a long period and we all feared the worst. I wanted him to get some time in the reserves but the competition has become something of a farce this season - we had another game cancelled this week.
“So this game was good for us to bring Matt back in - he is a quality player.”
Centurions were comfortable 46-16 winners in Cumbria against a team they beat 60-0 at the Sports Village earlier in the season.
“It was a good score,” said Rowley. “The result was never in doubt after the first half. The second half got a bit drab and it’s difficult to stay motivated when it gets like that but some players got some good game time.”
Ryan Brierley scored four tries for Leigh who had Ben Reynolds deputising for Martyn Ridyard at stand off. Jonathan Pownall scored two tries while there was an unlikely conversion goal from Fuifui Moimoi in the last minute of the game.
Leigh are looking for their 28th straight win when they go to London on Sunday, a side they have already beaten twice this season.
“We will have to be better at London,” said Rowley. “But today has been good preparation because we have dealt with the travel aspect.
“We can fine tune a few things but overall the players have been well focused and did enough.”
Whitehaven leaked three tries when they were reduced to 12-men following the sin-binning of Ted Chappelhow in the first half and the game was beyond them by the break when Leigh led 30-6.
Rowley said: “Whitehaven were enthusiastic and kept going right till the end. They showed plenty of spirit. Unfortunately spirit only gets you so far. You need a bigger squad and a bit of know how.
“We showed that we can produce a spell of being almost machine like in how go about our business. We are happy to go home with two points and we are where we want to be.”