Adrian Lam’s confidence in Leigh Leopards not dented by losing start

TWO LOSSES from two is par for the course for newly-promoted Super League sides but Leigh Leopards coach Adrian Lam believes the first win is around the corner for his battling team.

A narrow 14-6 defeat in Perpignan against Catalans Dragons, following an opening day ten-point losing margin to Salford Red Devils, leaves the Leopards pointless so far and with a trip to in-form Hull KR and world champions St Helens next up, it’s difficult to see where that first win will come from.

But Lam insists his players will soon taste victory, as he told League Express after Saturday night’s loss in France: “We’ve lost two games but with a little better game management we could have won them both.

“We remain confident, we have a strong squad, we recruited well and we’ve got lots of experience now but we have to make sure we stay positive through this process and get on with what we need to do.”

Leigh missed influential hooker Edwin Ipape in Perpignan and also had to cope with the late withdrawal of two more senior players.

Lam explained: “Edwin wasn’t included tonight because he has an ankle problem, which wasn’t suited to this type of travel, but he should be good for the next round.

“Oliver Holmes missed out with a knee injury and Jack Hughes pulled out after the warm-up, which was another issue we had before the start of the game, but I thought we handled all of that stuff well.”

Lam admitted he was disappointed with his side’s start to the season and it had taken some of the gloss off last year’s successful campaign.

“I had my most enjoyable year as a coach last year, with all of the success and everything we did, but the hard part of it all was to build a group for this year that was good enough.

“It’s difficult recruiting players when you aren’t guaranteed a Super League position until the last day of the year.

“But we worked hard and we’ve got the squad we need. It’s difficult for any promoted side but we know we’re good enough.”

The Leopards are likely to be boosted by Wigan hooker Joe Shorrocks this week, with the 23-year-old set to join on an initial short-term loan.

In 2021, Shorrocks made 28 Wigan appearances and topped Super League’s tackle charts, when Lam was coaching the Warriors.