Millward targets NRC glory

Leigh Centurions coach Ian Millward hopes to maintain his side’s promising start to the season when they travel to Co-operative Championship One club Hunslet for the Northern Rail Cup quarter-final clash on Sunday.
Millward has won Super League Grand Finals, a World Club Challenge and the Challenge Cup, but he has now set his sights on one of the most important trophies to his current club.
Victory in the Northern Rail Cup final would give Leigh Centurions the right to apply for an Engage Super League licence and a place among Rugby League’s elite.
The former St Helens and Wigan coach said: “The Northern Rail Cup is an important competition with some big rewards at the end of it.
“If you want to apply for something then you’ve got to have credentials, and this gives us an opportunity to put our name forward.
“There are some really good things in place with the new stadium and the current owners at Leigh. Doing well in the Northern Rail Cup would be great news and it would keep the momentum going that’s around the club at the moment.”
The Centurions are currently flying high in the Co-operative Championship after winning nine of their first 12 matches but Millward is wary of a Hunslet side who have only dropped two points in their first 11 games in Co-operative Championship One.
“We’re pleased to be in the quarter-finals and we’d love to make the semi-finals, but that’s as far as we’re looking at the moment,” said Millward.
“There’s been a lot of hard work put into this club by a lot of people. There’s no magic wand. It’s about working hard and being consistent. We’re definitely more than happy with where we currently are in comparison to where we were last year.”
Under Paul March’s guidance, Hunslet have emerged as one of the leading contenders to earn promotion and Millward is determined to give the Hawks the respect they deserve heading into Sunday’s game.
Commenting on his opponents for Sunday’s clash, Millward said: “What I do know is that we’re not a good enough team to not respect anyone. Hunslet seem to be very consistent in what they’re doing. They’ve got home advantage and we know we’ll have to be at our best to get what we want out of this game.”

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