Leigh Centurions too strong for Bradford in Monday night Rugby League – talking points

Keanan Brand SWpix Leigh
Leigh winger Keanan Brand celebrates his try (Photo: Paul Currie / SWpix)

Keanan Brand and Ed Chamberlain scored two tries each to help Leigh Centurions ease past Bradford Bulls 38-4 at the Leigh Sports Village. 

Adrian Lam made four changes to his Leigh side that lost 28-6 at Featherstone last week. Australian winger Jy Hitchcox and Ireland international Ed Chamberlain replaced Kieran Dixon and Tom Nisbet.

Adam Sidlow and Dan Norman replaced Chris Green and Jacob Jones in the forwards. Norman is on dual-registration from Super League champions St Helens.

Bradford coach John Kear made two changes to his outfit that lost to Sheffield last time out. Sam Scott and Chester Butler replaced Dan Fleming and Corey Johnson.

Leigh got off to a flying start when Keanan Brand scored from a tremendous flick pass from Chamberlain.

Bradford went down to 12 men for a short period midway through the first half. Ant Walker was shown a yellow card for a late hit on John Asiata.

The Bulls drew level in the 25th minute though as Kieran Gill scored from close range. Dec Patton couldn’t convert.

The Centurions led 8-4 at the break through as centre Chamberlain darted through a gap on the right edge.

HT: Leigh Centurions 8-4 Bradford Bulls

Jy Hitchcox Leigh SWpix
Debutant Jy Hitchcox in action for Leigh (Photo: Paul Currie / SWpix)

Leigh started the second half just as good as they did in the first. Hitchcox scored on is debut, with prop Mark Ioane extended their lead shortly after.

It was all Leigh in the second half. Brand got his second on the hour mark thanks to a fine pass from Caleb Aekins.

Papua New Guinea star Nene Macdonald got his fifth try of the campaign in the 71st minute, which Chamberlain converted.

Norman capped a strong performance in the middle of the park with a try.

Bradford winger David Foggin-Johnston was sent off late on for a high shot on Leigh hooker Aaron Smith, who left the field of play with a head knock.

Chamberlain got his second of the game on the hooter as he darted over out wide. A crowd of 2,706 watched the Centurions seal a 38-4 victory on home soil.

FT: Leigh Centurions 38-4 Bradford Bulls

Leigh: Aekins; Hitchcox, Chamberlain, Macdonald, Brand; Reynolds, Mellor; Sidlow, Smith, Amone, Wardle, Stone, Asiata. Subs: Ioane, Hingano, McDonnell, Norman.

Tries: Brand (2), Chamberlain (2), Hitchcox, Ioane, Macdonald, Norman Goals: Chamberlain 3

Bradford: Millar; Dawson-Jones, R Evans, Gill, Foggin-Johnston; Patton, Jowitt; Walker, Doyle, Crossley, England, Scott, Baldwinson. Subs: Flanagan, Butler, Wallace, B Evans.

Tries: Gill Goals:

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Three talking points

Leigh’s lethal right edge

Lam’s side got a lot of joy through the right hand side against Bradford. Brand and Chamberlain both bagged braces and they looked like they had been playing together for a long time.

The pair complemented each other well. Chamberlain was always looking for the support of Brand when he had the ball in his hand. Chamberlain will be hoping to play in his second World Cup this autumn, and the Irish selectors will certainly be pleased with what they saw from him.

Caleb Aekins shows his class

The New Zealander joined Leigh in the off-season after making seven appearances for Canberra Raiders in the NRL last term.

Aekins was a high-profile arrival at the Centurions and he definitely delivered against the Bulls. He was at the heart of everything the Centurions did in attack and he was a constant threat for the Bradford defence. Aekins is of Welsh heritage and his hoping to represent Wales at the World Cup this autumn.

Kieran Gill impresses

Former Castleford centre Gill scored Bradford’s only try and was unfortunate to be on the losing side.

Gill has already proved to be a good signing for the Bulls, having scored four tries already this season.

He bagged 48 tries in 43 appearances in his time at Newcastle Thunder, so Bradford fans will be hoping for more of the same.

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About Drew Darbyshire 8513 Articles
Love Rugby League Deputy Editor. Joined the site ahead of the 2017 World Cup and been a full-time reporter since 2018.

1 Comment

  1. Well done Leigh Centuripns, good squad, good coach. Leigh showed their superiority in beating a good Bradford Bulls side. Hopefully the crowd will increase as Leigh keep winning. Looking forward to beating Widnes

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