Leigh Centurions’ dominance of the Championship has continued, picking up a third straight League Leaders’ Shield.
Their emphatic 58-18 victory over Halifax yesterday, who were seven games unbeaten ahead of the match, was a fitting end to yet another dominant year for the Centurions, who haven’t lost in the league since an opening round defeat to Batley.
Their superiority of the Championship has been emphatic, with the Centurions unbeaten in the league at Leigh Sports Village for almost three years. Since the beginning of the 2014 season they have scored 2785 points, an average of almost 40 points per game, while they have conceded 1119 points in 70 games.
Despite a lot of changes at the club this season, notably losing head coach Paul Rowley and key player Ryan Brierley, the club has maintained it’s authority of the division following Neil Jukes’ move into the hot seat. Leigh, who have invested heavily into their side, have been aided by the performances of former Super League players such as Lee Smith, Harrison Hansen and Cory Paterson, who all joined the club at the start of the season.
I’m really delighted to lead this club this year and get that League Leaders’ Shield,” Jukes told BBC Radio Manchester
“It’s been in our cabinet for two years and we wanted to keep hold of that. It’s been an up and down season, without a doubt, and I’ve just said to the players and staff that they’ve been outstanding.”
The big test begins now for the Centurions, who are in search of promotion to Super League through the Qualifiers. They finished bottom of the Middle 8s last year, winning just one of their seven matches in the process, much to the frustration of the fans.
“I think we are better prepared,” Jukes said. “The problem this year is we’ve got Leeds, Huddersfield, Salford and Hull KR probably.
“It’s going to be ridiculous when you look at it. I think as a club we are prepared, but the challenge is going to be harder.”