Leigh continued their dominance in the Championship as they sealed a close 22-20 victory over Bradford Bulls last weekend – and coach Neil Jukes is eyeing up yet another league title today by beating Halifax.
Jukes was pleased with his side’s performance but praised the Bulls’ efforts, saying: “Bradford played hard with their sets, every good ball set was either off our ball where we’d been a bit sloppy with our attack or more importantly, off a penalty.
“I think we gave away three penalties in the first twelve minutes of the second half and after those, they came and hurt us. We just couldn’t seem to get them off our heels.
“We worked hard, I just thought that certainly around our pivots we needed to be a bit more clinical in building pressure. We looked like a desperate team and I’ve said all week, we aren’t a desperate team. We’ve got to be machine like, get through sets and do the simple things consistently.
“I’m delighted though. It puts us one win away from winning the league.”
The Centurions could confirm their place at the top of Championship with a win over Halifax this weekend at Leigh Sports Village – but the Shaymen head into the game in form after producing an impressive 11-try display to win 62-12 against Swinton Lions.
Coach Richard Marshall said: “We were disappointed with our performance against Swinton last time and we certainly wrote a few wrongs from our previous encounter. Swinton are a very good attacking team and we defended what they threw at us for large parts of the game. Off the back of our defence we built some momentum with the ball and racked up a few points which was pleasing because it’s something we’d spoken about in the week.
“Leigh is a difficult place to go with the crowd and the Super League quality players that they’ve got there. We’re confident we can put in a performance against any opposition in the competition though and we’ve proved that over the last few weeks. We need to replicate our performance this week and not get carried away.”
Ben Heaton looks set to make a return for Halifax after missing the game against Swinton due to concussion. Matt Sarsfield (dead leg) and Ryan Boyle (hamstring) are also in doubt.