Kieron Purtill: Several players had best game in a Leigh shirt

Photo courtesy of Richard Long

Leigh caretaker coach Kieron Purtill was impressed by his sides hunger to defend in their win over Dewsbury.

The Centurions were 18-0 up at half time thanks to tries from Peter Mata’utia (2) and Harrison Hansen.

Kyle Lovett bagged a brace in the second half while Ben Crooks also went over to seal a convincing 36-0 victory over the Rams.

Speaking after the game, Purtill said: “We have not conceded a try for two games now and we’ve worked really hard as a group.

“The players have given everything in training over the last couple of weeks and you get the rewards on game. I am very happy.

“We worked really hard and my favourite part of the game was the last minute when we defended our tryline and we are trying to breed the hunger to defend the white line into the players and not let people over it.

“Some of the guys had their best game in a Leigh shirt and I said that to them in the changing rooms. I’m proud of them, they have worked really hard and they have got the rewards for it.”

Mata’utia put a man of the match display in for the Centurions. He was a constant threat for the Rams and scored two tries as well as playing a part in setting up a couple more.

And Purtill was impressed by what he saw from the Samoa star.

He added: “I thought Peter Mata’utia was outstanding at full-back.

“He has got the ability to play a few positions but even last week at Batley, he came up with 23 carries.

“He gave us a good attacking side of his game but defensively, he is very good, too. He talks really well and gets his hand on the ball. It was like having an extra forward on the field.

“He looked like he belonged at a higher level and that is what you expect from your overseas boys when you bring them in.”

Ben Reynolds left the field for Leigh in the second half and didn’t return, but Purtill revealed the injury was just a knock and thinks he will be able to play against Swinton Lions on Good Friday.

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