Leigh chief holds ref talks

Leigh Centurions coach Neil Jukes held lengthy and productive talks with match officials’ representative Steve Presley last week over the number of penalties his team has been conceding.

In the recent win at Featherstone, the Centurions were penalised 14 times and had both Gareth Hock and Jamie Acton sent to the sin-bin.

Jukes accepts some level of responsibility for the pattern but was also keen to put his point across to former referee Presley, which he feels he was able to do.

Jukes said: “I had a real good chat with the RFL this week about the number of penalties we’ve been conceding.

“It’s been frustrating from our point of view, but we’ve got some feedback on it and we’re looking at it ourselves.

“We’ve got a few technical bits to fix up and we’re working hard on it.

“Overall, I want us to be proud of our discipline but remain aggressive – we don’t want to become a soft team.

“We accept some part of the responsibility and are working hard with the referees to get some understanding and consistency.

“From day one of coming in, Steve Presley has been open and honest with me and that’s been great.

“The main thing for us is that we don’t want to be pre-judged – we’re happy to work hard as a staff and players, but we need that support as well.”

Both Hock and Acton have been sinbinned multiple times this year, but an incident involving Acton in particular had frustrated Jukes.

He added: “He was sinbinned for getting punched three times around the head at Dewsbury, and didn’t throw one punch himself.

“I commended him for it afterwards as I thought he conducted himself well, but he ended up with the same punishment as a guy who threw three big punches.

“We know we can be better in certain areas, but it has to work both ways as well.”

Jukes continues to report positive news on the injury front.

Fullback Gregg McNally has started running again following his knee reconstruction, although his comeback date is still scheduled for shortly before the start of the Qualifiers if everything goes to plan.

Greg Worthington is a fortnight away from a return, but has not broken anything in his foot, instead sustaining a slight ligament tear.

Andrew Dixon has cut two weeks off his recovery time with his knee issue, and could now be back on the field in around a month’s time.

And close-season capture Willie Tonga is now finally ready to play again, and took part in his first full week’s training last week.