Looking at Leigh

‘Hubris’ is a word of Ancient Greek origin, usually taken in a modern context to mean ‘extreme pride or self-confidence’, the kind of pride which often comes before a fall.

While it would be slightly hyperbolic, not to say perhaps premature too, to say that the Centurions are ‘falling’ things are definitely coming loose on the plane’s wings, and for a short while the altimeter was dropping alarmingly.

A 36-28 win over Sheffield at the weekend will have allayed fears of a rapid on-field decline somewhat. Three wins from five with one draw is not a bad return so far.

But Leigh over the last couple of years have turned self-confidence and cockiness into hubris. They have gone from being smiling entertainers, riding the crest of a winning wave, to snarling and sneering bullies, over-sensitive to percieved insult, and looking slightly ridiculous as a result.

Traducing a player’s character by using a Jeremy Kyle analogy, as new coach Neil Jukes did, is not particularly classy from any angle.

Naming a rival club as if they were helping to fan the flames of controversy, a club with whom Leigh have not enjoyed the greatest relationship in recent times, begins to make everything look very tawdry indeed.

There is a sense that too much gets taken personally at Leigh, with settling scores often more important than the club moving forward.

Seeing Paul Rowley and Ryan Brierley in the stands at Salford’s game last week was a pretty clear sign that no hard feelings exist at that level in the club.

But, whatever the background to the current situation, it is imperative for the club’s future that things on the pitch keep moving forward.

If Leigh’s plan to make Super League falters again this year, then more serious questions may well be asked of the club’s hierarchy, which has so far enjoyed a largely free ride from fans.

The acting like a big club in waiting will also begin to look very silly very quickly, and then, perhaps, the world ‘hubris’ can be applied fairly.

It would be better if things never came to that, however, and the hard work that has been put into the project paid off for the people involved.

But the focus needs to shift away from bruised and bruising egos, personal feuds, off-field controversy and staff departures, and back onto the pitch.

Which is, after all, where things are really won and lost not the boardroom.

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