Leigh and Widnes face-off on SKY

Leigh Centurions are boosted by the inclusion of Lee Mitchell in their squad to face Widnes Vikings in Thursday’s hugely-anticipated Northern Rail Cup quarter final.

Centurions had last week off and assistant coach Paul Rowley believes his side’s preparation has been helped by the break.

Rowley said: “We had some knocks, so it was a chance to rest a few players in training and recover from bumps and bruises.

“We’ll definitely benefit from what’s probably been an ideal preparation time of 10 days.”
Leigh’s last outing was a 54-16 victory over Widnes, and Rowley admits his side will be looking to use some of the same tactics on Thursday.

He said: “There was nothing in it in the first half, but we did apply some serious pressure in the second half.

“We’ll be looking to do much of the same by testing their resolve and seeing if they can withstand some pressure.”
Danny Craven (dislocated shoulder) is Denis Betts’ only injury concern.

The Widnes coach steered his side to a 76-12 win over York last week, just three days after the Vikings had celebrated their successful Engage Super League licence bid.

Betts said: “We knew we needed to get ourselves some confidence back. We weren’t happy with the second half performance against Leigh, and we know the standard will be tougher on Thursday, but we moved in the right direction (against York).
“The lads responded really well in a game where we knew the opposition would have some fire in their belly.”

He added: “We’ve just got to be positive and have the right attitude on Thursday. It’s simple stuff and simple words, but it really is all about how we turn up and how we focus.

“The lads were hurt by that performance against Leigh. They didn’t expect it but it showed them that focus is everything.”

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