Leigh face Halifax test

Unbeaten Leigh Centurions are aiming for their 10th league win of 2011 when they host Halifax in Thursday’s televised Co-operative Championship fixture.

But assistant coach Paul Rowley has admitted his side’s focus will be on their defensive duties after they conceded 38 points at York last week.

Rowley said: “Through discussion and video work we’ve picked up a lot of issues that we need to deal with.

“We want to improve our defence and get our averages down, but we want to do that every week.

“We were certainly off the pace in a lot of areas defensively, especially on the edges. We’ll have to clean that up for a team like Halifax.”

Rhys Evans is ruled out with a hand injury that requires an operation, while Mick Govin (shoulder) will also be absent. Tom Armstrong is expected to feature in Evans’ absence.

On Halifax, Rowley said: “You would expect that the players there are still trying to impress Brian Noble.

“They’ve improved each week since they played Bradford in the Carnegie Challenge Cup. They’ll have some confidence and they’re a fast team, so the game will be a lot quicker than last week.”

Sam Barlow could return for Halifax, but James Molloy (shoulder) and Mike Ratu (arm) are both unavailable.

Ben Black is also set to feature after missing Fax’s 14-12 victory over Sheffield – a result that prompted coach Matt Calland to claim: “I think things are on the up now, at last.”

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