Leigh Sports Village plays host to its second big televised Sky clash on Thursday (17th June – 7.30pm) when Leigh take on Batley Bulldogs for a place in the Northern Rail Cup Final just six days after England’s 60-6 demolition of France at the same venue.
Leigh’s assistant coach Paul Rowley has happy memories of the competition having lifted the equivalent trophy with the Centurions in 2004 and 2006 and he’s relishing the chance of pitting his wits against one of his former Halifax team mates in Batley coach Karl Harrison.
“Batley have a fantastic leader off the field in Karl who I consider to be one of the best around. I lined up with him for many years in the front row at Halifax and I learnt a lot from him.
“He’s instilled a lot of discipline into them and turned the Bulldogs into a tough, direct, no nonsense side that has a lot of firepower out wide.
“We will have to be wary of those threats and experienced them first hand last Sunday!” added Rowley, son of Leigh’s Chief Executive Allan Rowley.
Batley could well have the psychological edge going into the game after beating Leigh 32-12 at Mount Pleasant last weekend but Leigh will be desperate to tick another box in their bid to re-enter the engage Super League with victory in the final at Bloomfield Road in July.
“We will have to be fully prepared on Thursday night. This is cup football and there can be no room for regrets but if we keep our composure and get the details right then the rest will take care of itself.
“I have happy memories of those cup final victories in 2004 and 2006 and I’ll be sharing that with the team but there’s 80 minutes of rugby league to be played before we can start thinking about that,” concluded Rowley.
The winners will face a Northern Rail Cup Final showdown against either Keighley or Widnes who are paired up in the other semi-final at Cougar Park on Sunday.