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The Monday evening televised Premier Sports game between the top two in the Championship saw Featherstone Rovers travel to Leigh Centurions for an encounter which had more of a game of the season feel to it, than just a boring old game of the round.

The Centurions only league loss of the season was the round two defeat away at Featherstone, while it was the Centurions who emerged with the Trophy when the two sides met in the 1895 Cup Final a couple of short weeks ago. Honours shared so far in 2022 but this game would determine who sat at the top of the league at the end of round fifteen, and who was in pole position to top the table come the end of the season.

The home side were big favourites with the bookies, but despite several injuries it would be a fool that would write off Brian McDermott’s flat cappers from taking home the points.

The opening exchanges lived up to expectations with both sides showing aggression in attack and defence.

On four minutes Mark Kheirallah knocked on a high kick from Ata Hingano and on the fourth tackle from the restart the ball was moved fast to the left with Keenan Brand passing to Krisnan Inu for the Frenchman to stoop to score in the corner, the video replay showing that he was lucky to be given the try by referee Hicks. Inu was unable to add the conversion from the touchline.

On nine minutes Leigh were in again as John Asiata found his way through the smallest hole in the defensive line with a magical step to score by the left upright. This time Inu made no mistake with the conversion for a 10-0 lead, Leigh averaging a point a minute.

On fifteen Rovers got their first points after a Ryley Jacks pinpoint kick was chased and grounded by Kheirallah. The full-back added the conversion to his own try and the margin was back down to four points.

Twenty minutes were on the clock when Blake Ferguson leapt to tip on an Ata Hingano kick to the corner before collecting the ball and dropping to the floor to score. Again, Inu missed the conversion attempt, this one from tight to the touchline.

Featherstone were penalised for a shot clock breach when dropping out on thirty-four and Inu smashed his kick between the uprights for 16-6. Two minutes later and Kheirallah kicked within time but this time he didn’t make ten metres. Inu again took the penalty kick for an 18-6 half time lead.

It had been a breathless first half with some tremendous hits from both sides, the crowd was getting value for money.

Two and a half minutes after the restart Connor Jones took a Kheirallah tip on to go in on the overlap. Kheirallah added the conversion and again the margin was back down to six points.

Just before the hour, Ferguson went in for his second of the night after he took a looping pass from Hingano to go outside the Featherstone winger and dive in at the corner. Inu brushed the far post with his conversion attempt.

A Johnathan Ford off the ball push in the back gifted Inu another two-point penalty to extend the lead to two converted tries.

Ipape ensured that it would be Leigh who moved to the top of the league as he crashed over the line after spinning out of two tackles and using his tremendous strength to get over the line. Inu added the conversion for 30-12 with eight minutes of the game remaining.

Matty Wildie was sin-binned on seventy-four for a crusher tackle, Featherstone down to twelve for the rest of the game.

Krisnan Inu was red carded for a high tackle on Luke Briscoe with just under two minutes of the game remaining, a potentially costly mistake for a moment of carelessness depending on how the disciplinary see the incident. On the final hooter Sam Eseh was also shown a red card for a shoulder charge on Mark Ioane. Ben Reynolds kicked the resulting penalty to seal a 32-12 win.

Despite the fractious end, with two moments of madness seeing referee Hicks brandishing his cards and keeping the disciplinary committee busy, it had been a tremendous match.

Leigh were muscular, direct, relentless and persistent and it won them the points and the bragging rights over their closest rivals for promotion. These two will do it all again at the Summer Bash at the end of July, another mouth-watering prospect. With neither side looking like losing to anyone else in the competition, it will be that game at Headingley which will likely determine who will finish the season on top of the Championship.

Leigh Centurions: Aekins, Ferguson (2T), Inu (T, 4G, SO on 78), Brand, Chamberlain, Reynolds, Hingano, Sidlow, Smith, Amone, Stone, Wardle, Asiata (T). Subs: O-Donnell, Ioane, Jones, Ipape (T).  

Featherstone Rovers: Kheirallah (T, 2G), Briscoe, Leilua, Jones (T), Gale, Smith, Jacks, Kopczak, Wildie (SB on 74), Cooper, Davies, Hellewell, Moors.  Subs: Ford, Ferres, Hepi, Eseh (SO on 80).   

Half-Time: 18-6.

Full-Time: 32-12.

Score Progression: 4-0, 8-0, 10-0, 10-4, 10-6, 14-6, 16-6, 18-6 : HT : 18-10, 18-12, 22-12, 24-12, 28-12, 30-12, (SB), (SO), (SO), 32-12 : FT.

Lead Exchanges: Leigh.

Referee: Robert Hicks.




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Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Mon 13th Jun 2022 9:45 PM | Views : 15309 | Replies : 0 | BACK TO STORIES
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TABLES:
Matches on TV
Fri 7th Oct
MINT2022
LIVE

19:30
England34-0Fiji
Sat 15th Oct
WC2022 RND: 1
14:30
England-Samoa
WC2022 RND: 1
19:30
Australia-Fiji
Sun 16th Oct
WC2022 RND: 1
17:00
Jamaica-Ireland
WC2022 RND: 1
19:30
New Zealand-Lebanon
WC2022 RND: 1
14:30
Scotland-Italy
Mon 17th Oct
WC2022 RND: 1
19:30
France-Greece
Tue 18th Oct
WC2022 RND: 1
19:30
Tonga-Papua NG
Wed 19th Oct
WC2022 RND: 1
19:30
WALES-Cook Islands
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WC2022 RND: 2
19:30
Australia-Scotland
Sat 22nd Oct
WC2022 RND: 2
14:30
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WC2022 RND: 2
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WC2022 RND: 2
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Fri 7th Oct
MINT2022 RND: 2 England34-0Fiji
Sun 2nd Oct
NRL RND: 29 Penrith28-12Parramatta
L1 RND: 26 Swinton16-10Doncaster
CH RND: 30 Leigh44-12Batley
This is an inplay table and positions can change as matches are in play.
Betfred Championship 2022 ROUND : 27
 PLDFADIFFPTS
Leigh 27 1306 208 1098 52
Featherstone 27 1058 468 590 47
Halifax 27 837 440 397 40
Barrow 27 759 587 172 37
Batley 27 738 551 187 36
York 27 677 596 81 36
 
Sheffield 27 699 660 39 24
Widnes 27 567 679 -112 24
Bradford 27 521 675 -154 22
Whitehaven 27 488 854 -366 19
LondonB 27 548 740 -192 17
Newcastle 27 559 877 -318 15
Dewsbury 27 385 964 -579 7
Workington 27 296 1139 -843 2
This is an inplay table and positions can change as matches are in play.
Betfred League One 2022 ROUND : 20
 PLDFADIFFPTS
Keighley 18 843 154 689 36
Crusaders 18 668 332 336 30
Swinton 18 737 281 456 28
Doncaster 18 618 392 226 26
Rochdale 18 646 451 195 24
Hunslet 18 475 462 13 17
 
Oldham 18 535 473 62 15
Midlands 18 458 632 -174 10
LondonS 18 362 705 -343 10
Cornwall 19 274 782 -508 2
West Wales 19 154 1106 -952 2
This is an inplay table and positions can change as matches are in play.
Betfred Super League XXVII ROUND : 27
 PLDFADIFFPTS
St.Helens 27 674 374 300 42
Wigan 27 818 483 335 38
Huddersfield 27 613 497 116 35
Catalans 27 539 513 26 32
Leeds 27 577 528 49 29
Salford 27 700 602 98 28
 
Castleford 27 544 620 -76 26
Hull KR 27 498 608 -110 24
Hull FC 27 508 675 -167 22
Wakefield 27 497 648 -151 20
Warrington 27 568 664 -96 18
Toulouse 27 421 745 -324 10
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National Rugby League 2022 ROUND : 24
 PLDFADIFFPTS
Penrith 23 628 353 275 38
Cronulla 23 535 348 187 34
Melbourne 23 704 388 316 32
NQL Cowboys 23 595 353 242 32
Parramatta 23 586 475 111 30
Sydney 23 611 416 195 28
Souths 23 588 448 140 28
Canberra 23 468 451 17 26
 
Brisbane 23 502 528 -26 26
St.George 23 445 559 -114 22
Manly 23 470 574 -104 18
Canterbury 23 362 555 -193 12
Newcastle 23 356 624 -268 12
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