No mention of the ‘R word’ as Leigh show their play-off credentials

Drew Darbyshire
Gareth O'Brien Leigh Leopards SWpix

Photo: Ed Sykes/SWpix

Leigh coach Adrian Lam says his newly-promoted side aren’t even thinking about avoiding relegation after they enjoyed a record-breaking win over Castleford.

Friday was a night for the history books at the Leigh Sports Village. The Leopards recorded three success Super League wins for the first time as they eased past Castleford 30-6 thanks to scoring 24 unanswered points in the second half.

During their four spells in Super League, Leigh have never managed to achieve more than back-to-back wins but they continued their remarkable start to life back in the top flight by mauling the Tigers. It was also the first time they had beaten Castleford since 1987.

“I thought the second half was seamless for us, it was really controlled which was great,” Lam said.

“The first 40 minutes were frustrating at times but I think we’re learning how to play ugly and win.

“There were probably too many errors in the first half but you get that when you’ve had a week off. We were a little bit rusty but I was pleased with the way we responded in the second half.”

Adrian Lam: We’re not mentioning the ‘R word’

The win over Castleford sees Leigh move in to sixth spot in the Super League table, meaning they are currently on course for a play-off finish.

Despite coming up from the Championship last season, Lam says they have more ambition than to just avoid relegation from the top flight this year.

When asked when do they stop thinking about avoiding relegation after their sixth win of the season, Lam laughed: “It’s that R word again!

“We set a goal at the start of the year not to talk about it and not to look back and I think we’ve handled that really well so far.

“We’re trying to keep our feet grounded and enjoying the wins as we go along. I think someone mentioned about the record for Leigh’s time in Super League is six wins.

“It’s more about just working hard as a group and they are close-knit men and we’re learning as we go along in this journey. We’re enjoying the ride so far.”

Leigh occupying a play-off spot

The win also sees Leigh equal their best points total as a Super League team with only 11 rounds of the campaign played.

Leigh leapfrogged champions St Helens in the table, with the latter having lost to Catalans in Perpignan.

“It’s taken us 11 weeks to get in there so it has been a really tough grind, but we’re in there now I believe,” Lam said.

“That’s just down to hard work and not getting ahead of ourselves.

“We understand that we’ve got to go to Huddersfield next week, which it doesn’t look like they played well tonight, so that’s going to be a massive challenge for us and they’ll want to respond to that but it’s just week by week here for us at the moment.

“We’ve got a really small squad, we’ve tried to manage that the best we can. We got our bench to play some big minutes in that second half once the game was done. We’ve just got to pat ourselves on the back whilst its there, embrace it and put our heads down, arses up and keep going.”

Leigh: O’Brien; Briscoe, Leutele, Hardaker, Charnley; Reynolds, Lam; Amone, Ipape, Mulhern, O’Donnell, Holmes, Asiata. Subs: Seumanufagai, Wilde, Davis, Mellor. 18th man: Gannon.

Tries: Reynolds, O’Donnell, Seumanufagai, Leutele, Davis Goals: Reynolds 5

Castleford: Evalds; Faraimo, Broadbent, Turner, Wallis; Widdop, Miller; Lawler, McShane, Massey, Edwards, Milner, Westerman. Subs: Griffin, Mellor, Robb, Hall. 18th man: Martin.

Tries: Westerman Goals: Widdop 1

Attendance: 5,423

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