Thursday, 24 July 2014

Sunday's Coming: Leigh

This is a good week to play Leigh.

Having had their veneer of invincibility shattered at Doncaster a fortnight ago, they were in no mood to piss about last week - clinically spanking Keighley Cougars 30-0.

Tom Armstrong, Robert Beswick and Oliver Wilkes all scored converted tries in the first 25 minutes to give Leigh an 18-nil half time lead. Gregg McNally and Martyn Ridyard weighed in after the break (Ridyard flawless with the boot for all five conversions) to stuff Keighley down into the relegation mix.

But while Leigh have pretty much had every side's pants down this season, they've struggled to beat Hornets.

In two consecutive weeks back in March/April they coughed-up a bonus point beating Hornets by 34-22 at th LSV, then in the cup they sneaked through wining 22-28 at Spotland. Scoring 44 points and an 18 point losing margin over two games shows that Hornets can compete with the best at this level. Which makes games like last week's scrap-fest at Workington even more frustrating.

Ian Talbot takes a philosophical view: “We’re not reading anything into any previous results; it’s all about this week. We let ourselves down last week, but to be disappointed with a bonus point is testament to our performances over the last few weeks.”

He added: “We were below par throughout (against Workington). We coughed up way, way too much possession. We gifted them possession and, while we defended well, it meant we were down on energy when we did have the ball. We need to be better this week.”

Jordan Case (calf), Shaun Robinson (knee) and Ryan Millard (groin) will all be given late fitness tests before Tol finalises his side.

Centurions coach Paul Rowley is selecting from a fully fit squad.

Rowley said: “Rochdale have been within touching distance of us both times we played them, and they’re arguably one of the form teams in the league.

“They’ve got some good dual-registration players, and they’re a good team. League positions count for nothing in the Championship and we need to remember that on Sunday.”