Centurions run riot against Giants

A defensive masterclass from the Centurions helped inflict a second successive defeat for the Giants as the hosts stormed to a 30-0 victory at the Leigh Sports Village.

Leigh head coach Neil Jukes will be thrilled with the response after they were the ones who failed to register a single point last week against local rivals Wigan.

Adam Higson replaced Curtis Naughton on the left wing, whilst there was a reshuffle to the Centurions pack with Jamie Acton and Danny Tickle coming in with Gareth Hock being moved to the back row.

As for the Giants, Huddersfield head coach Rick Stone decided to switch things up on both wings, the most surprising inclusion being Jermaine McGillvary, who had been ruled out for six weeks after the Wakefield win.

Leroy Cudjoe and Ukuma Ta’ai completed the changes for the visitors who were still hurting from an emphatic defeat to Hull FC in front of their home crowd last time out.

The changes were a gamble that failed to pay off, perhaps leaving Stone in need to a Cheltenham 2018 bonus code to improve his mood.

Minutes after the start, Ryan Brierley found McGillvary lurking metres from the whitewash but the Giants and England winger was denied by some great defending from the hosts.

The Giants seemed to be in the ascendency from the outset and Brierley kept the pressure on his former employers, forcing a repeat set.

Leroy Cudjoe thought he had broken the deadlock but came up against some more valiant Centurions defence and was subsequently held up over the line.

Within the blink of an eye, Ben Crooks picked out Adam Higson, who dived over to give the Centurions the lead. Reynolds slotted the conversion to put Leigh 6-0 ahead with 13 minutes gone.

Following a dominant opening ten minutes from the visitors, Giants half-back Lee Gaskell almost gifted a try on a plate for Atelea Vea after failing to deal with Reynolds’ kick.

Moments later and McGillvary received the ball once more from Brierley but this time found Matty Dawson in his way, the Centurions winger coming up with a strong challenge to prevent the Giants from registering their first points.

Daniel Smith, introduced off the interchange bench, scuppered a golden opportunity to score Huddersfield’s first try, fumbling Kruise Leeming’s pass mere inches from the whitewash.

The Centurions hadn’t created a massive amount but were the more clinical side, Jamie Acton powering over from close range after a good spot from Eloi Pelissier.

Giants head coach Rick Stone will have demanded his players be more clinical at half-time but that message seemed to have fallen on deaf ears, Ukuma Ta’ai dropping the ball a couple of steps from the line.

Brierley and fellow half-back Danny Brough were the latest to try and get the Giants off the mark, the latter’s kick just rolling out of play before the ex-Leigh back could place a hand on it.

Approaching the last quarter and frustration started to set in for the visitors, Sebastine Ikahihifo appearing to punch Acton. The Leigh forward was also penalized as referee Chris Campbell sent both players to the sin bin.

The Centurions continued to stop their opponents from mounting any sort of sustained pressure. Harrison Hansen looked to have consigned the Giants to defeat when he capitalized on Gaskell’s indecisiveness to ground Drinkwater’s kick.

Reynolds added his name to the scoresheet, picking out a good line and scoring another four-pointer with four minutes remaining.

The Giants were caught napping in defence once more, Sam Hopkins diving across underneath the sticks to ensure the Centurions finished the game 30-0 victors.

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