Leigh star Brierley chasing more Championship magic

Leigh Centurions halfback Ryan Brierley has emerged this season as one of the Championship‘s top players in 2014

The former Castleford scrum-half has notched an incredible tally of 22 tries this season, and has also established himself as a superb creative talent.

Paul Rowley’s team showed just how impressive they have become with a 54-12 win over reigning champions Sheffield Eagles on Sunday.

The trip to Owlerton saw the Centurions record their 15th consecutive win –  a club record – and display their own title credentials once again.

Brierly was delighted to be part of a history-making side in Sheffield, although, professional to the last, he insisted that the three points the win brought were much more important.

“It’s something we spoke about earlier in the week, that we wanted to make history,” the 22-year-old told Love Rugby League.

“I think the lads dug in really well. It’s a really tough place to come to, Sheffield.

“We performed really well, we performed like winners.

“But the most important thing is that we came away with the three points.

“But it’s always nice to make history, and no one can take that away from us now.”

As for his own try-scoring feats, Brierly is a modest young man, who insists that his outstanding scoring form is really down to his team-mates.

“I’ve been quite lucky to be in a team which plays expansive rugby,” he explained.

“I’ve got a lot of unselfish team mates who put me in good positions.

“My halfback partner, Martin Ridyard, takes a lot of pressure off me.

“I just get on with my job. I take more pride in the ones that I create, rather than the ones I score.

“It’s always nice to get over the try line, and if I make history at the end of the year, so be it.”

Brierly also thirves from having senior players such as Oliver Wilkes and Jacob Emmit to learn from in the Leigh team.

“Especially as a young player, like myself, it’s good to learn from and listen to those guys when we’re under the pump a bit,” he said.

“They bring great experience to the team.

“But I can’t underestimate the work that the young lads are doing. Liam Kay, Tom Armstrong do great jobs for us, and add a lot of enthusiasm to the team.

“We’ve got a great coach in Paul Rowley – it just doesn’t seem like he’s going to get beaten this year.

“We’re all proud of him, like he’s proud of us.”

This Leigh side prode themselves on their professionalism, and this extended to using the changing rooms at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough stadium, rather than use the portakbins provided at Owlerton, on Sunday.

“We stopped off at Sheffield Wednesday, and we did all out preparation there,” Brierley explained.

“So we’ve not actually spent a lot of time in those portakabins.

“They’re dreadful. It’s not fair on the Sheffield players who have to play in them week in and week out.

“But they’ve not really got a ground, so they’re going to have to make do with it until the end of the season.

“You look at stadiums around like Halifax and Leigh, and they’re leagues ahead of places like this.

“It’s unfair for the players to get changed here. It’s hard to prepare like professionals.

“If you’re not given professional standard services then it’s really hard to turn your head on and prepare like professionals.

“That’s why we got changed at Sheffield Wednesday, to take a really professional approach.

“The facilities there are outstanding. For a Championship football side, it’s pretty scary how good their facilities are.

“But it’s full credit to the coaching staff, who organised that earlier in the week. Everything about us at the moment is professional, and we want it to remain that way.”

Meanwhile, Brierley also feels that more Championship players like him should be given the chance to show their skills at a Magic Weekend event.

“I was at Magic Weekend myself, it’s such a great spectacle,” he said.

“It brings all the fans together, it’s not like football where you can get a bit of trouble.

“It’s something that I’d like to play at, whether it be in Super League, or at a Championship club.

“I don’t know what going to happen yet at the end of the season for me personally.

“Magic Weekend is a great spectacle and a great advert for the Super League.

“I think the Championship could take hold of that. We’ve got some great fans in this league, especially the likes of Leigh, Featherstone and Halfax. They’ll make a real day of it.

“You look at the Northern Rail Cup finals in the past, and they got great crowds, so I think it would be great for the sport.

“We just need to keep growing the sport, don’t we, especially in these areas, because there’s not so many Shefield fans here today, which is a shame.

“They’ve got a good team down here, and I think people really need to buy into the talent that the Championship has to offer.”

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