Leigh 32-12 Featherstone: Centurions go top of the Championship

Blake Ferguson Leigh Centurions.jpg
Blake Ferguson of Leigh celebrates his try

Leigh beat rivals Featherstone for the second time in three weeks as they went top of the Championship table with a 32-12 home win.

Adrian Lam’s side lifted the 1895 Cup at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium three weeks ago with a 30-16 win over Championship rivals Featherstone.

And the Centurions claimed the bragging rights again, this time in the league to go one point above Featherstone in the table.

The Centurions made three changes to their side that beat Halifax 36-0 last time out. Keanan Brand, Jacob Jones and Mark Ioane came in for Nene Macdonald, James McDonnell and Ben Nakubuwai.

Meanwhile, Featherstone coach Brian McDermott made two changes. Adam Cuthbertson and Jack Bussey were replaced by Brett Ferres and Johnathon Ford.

Leigh couldn’t have wished for a better start as Krisnan Inu went over in the corner. He couldn’t convert his own try though.

Lam’s men were in good spirits in the first quarter. The forwards combined well as a blockbusting Tom Amone carry saw him find the supporting John Asiata who went under the sticks.

The Rovers fought their way back into the game when full-back Mark Kheirallah chased a chip down to bring his side back into the game.

The visitors were dealt a blow midway through the first half though when prop Craig Kopczak left the field with a pec injury.

Blake Ferguson continued his fine start to life at Leigh when he leapt high to collect a chip into the corner from Ata Hingano to extend his side’s lead to 14-6.

Two penalty goals from Inu in the last 10 minutes of the first half gave the Centurions an 18-6 advantage heading into the sheds.

HT: Leigh Centurions 18-6 Featherstone Rovers

Krisnan Inu Leigh Centurions
Krisnan Inu in action for Leigh

Fev stunned Leigh at the start of the second half, with Connor Jones going over for his ninth of the campaign.

The Rovers had momentum on their side at the start of the second half but Leigh clicked into another gear on the hour mark. Former Australia international Ferguson went over for his second.

Featherstone were dealt a further blow when half-back Ryley Jacks left the field with an ankle injury.

Papua New Guinea international Edwin Ipape is already a fan’s favourite at Leigh despite only being here for a few months. He extended their lead as he stormed over in front of the North Stand to all but seal the win for the Centurions.

Things went from bad to worse for Rovers in the 72nd minute when Matty Wildie was sin-binned.

Things turned ugly in the dying embers of the game, with Leigh’s Inu and Featherstone’s Sam Eseh both sent off.

Ben Reynolds added a penalty goal late on to seal a 32-12 victory and send his side top of the league.

FT: Leigh Centurions 32-12 Featherstone Rovers

Leigh: Aekins; Ferguson, Chamberlain, Brand, Inu; Reynolds, Hingano; Sidlow, Smith, Amone, Wardle, Stone, Asiata. Subs: O’Donnell, Jones, Ipape, Ioane.

Tries: Inu, Asiata, Ferguson (2), Ipape Goals: Inu 5, Reynolds 1

Featherstone: Kheirallah; Briscoe, Leilua, Jones, Gale; Smith, Jacks; Kopczak, Wildie, Cooper, Hellewell, Davies, Moors. Subs: Ford, Hepi, Eseh, Ferres.

Tries: Kheirallah, Jones Goals: Kheirallah 2

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About Drew Darbyshire 8031 Articles
Love Rugby League Deputy Editor. Joined the site ahead of the 2017 World Cup and been a full-time reporter since 2018.

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