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It was showdown time at the Leigh Sports Village as the Toronto Wolfpack arrived in town to take on the Leigh Centurions. Toronto are one of only two hundred percenters in a very competitive Betfred Championship but they were up against a Leigh side who have two wins out of three despite their troubled end to 2018 and a fraught close season.

The visitors were massive favourites with the bookies but a vociferous home support were looking to make their voices count as the eighteenth man and cheer their side to a victory which would lift them level on points with the Canadian side.

The stage was set for a no-holes barred contest as Brian McDermott’s Super League hopefuls looked to make it a four from four start.

It was an evenly matched opening eighteen minutes as the two sides probed and prodded one another looking for weaknesses. The opening points came from the boot of Martyn Ridyard after a Bodene Thompson obstruction in front of his own sticks.

The first four pointer came from Blake Wallace on twenty-six after a penalty conceeded for interference at the play the ball. Wallace took the pass eight metres from the line and danced his way through the Centurions defence. Gareth O’Brien added the conversion, the visitors 6-2 ahead.

It was two tries in ten minutes for Toronto when Adam Higson picked up and grounded a O’Brien grubber on the last tackle. O’Brien was unable to add the extras but the gap was now more than a converted try.

The Wolfpack went into the interval with a 10-2 lead.

There was good early pressure in the second half from the Centurions but after Danny Richardson was sin-binned on fifty-three for a professional foul, the Wolfpack made quick the punishment when Thompson went over on the overlap just thirty seconds after the yellow card was brandished. O’Brien hit the post with his conversion attempt, Toronto 14-2 ahead.

After absorbing plenty of pressure from the twelve men, Wallace put in a clearing kick which went out on the full Luke Douglas put in a grubber kick which he collected himself off a Toronto player to walk over the line to score Leigh’s first try of the afternoon, and get the home side back in the game. Ridyard added the goal for 8-14.

Under the cosh, on a rare foray into Leigh territory, Toronto attemped a seventy-third minute drop-goal from O’Brien but he sliced it wide of the uprights.

There was plenty of imaginative play from the Centurions who competed well on a fitness level withe the Wolfpack but they just couldn’t find their way over for the all important second try and they lost out by 14-8.

Two evenly matched sides played out a thrilling encounter which made up for occasional mistakes with dedication and full-bloodedness in the defences. Without the Richardson sin-binning it could have been a different story as Leigh pushed for the points in the second half and outplayed the visitors for long periods. But it’s Toronto with the two points which sees them two points clear at the top of the table as Sheffield suffered the postponement of their game against Widnes.

Centurions: Ridyard (2G), Marsh, Thornley I, Bentley, Cox, Woods, Richardson (SB on 53), Ashworth, Higham, Douglas (T), Adamson T, Thornley A, Brooks. Subs: O’Donnell, Cator, Adamson L, Spencer.

Wolfpack: O’Brien (G), Higson (T), Stanley, Leutele, Rawsthorne, Mellor, Wallace (T), Sims, McCrone, Springer, Dixon, Thompson (T), Olbison.  Subs: Sidlow, Ackers, Lussick, Mullally.

Referee: Thomas Grant.

Half-Time: 2-10.

Full-Time: 8-14.

Attendance: .



Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 24th Feb 2019 4:58 PM | Views : 2513 | Replies : 8 | BACK TO STORIES
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